There were no babies from the pink Bluebird eggs. The House Sparrow struck barely a day before they’d hatch. There is another male Bluebird (not the same one I think) scouting the nest box yesterday, so maybe we’ll still get lucky this year. I’m not holding my breath though. My local House Sparrows aren’t deterred by the normal methods used to keep them away from the Bluebirds.
I’ve decided its time to do some religious trapping of the sparrows. Before someone freaks out, House Sparrows aren’t a native USA bird, they are infact an English native (and if it was legal I’d happily box them all up and ship them back), and they’re highly destructive to natives, as I’ve had to learn the hard way. Trapping and killing (or even shooting and killing) is legal as long as local laws on the subject are followed and the killing is done in a humane fashion. I’ve done casual trapping before, as well as had some luck with the pellet gun, but they were one bird at a time methods. This time I’ve ordered a repeating sparrow trap, which is capable of holding a large number of birds. We didn’t need to spend the money, the trap isn’t cheap, but my husband isn’t arguing with me, he’s as frustrated with the House Sparrows as I am. I’d happily leave them alone if they’d leave my local natives alone, but they aren’t.
In more amusing news, this is the location of one local Robins nest this year:
That is the top of our solar panel meter and shut off. In an emergency that nest will likely be destroyed as the firemen shut down our solar panels. In addition the nest is between our garage door and the front house door. And my dogs are absolutely willing to munch on baby bird if given a chance. As a result we’ve tried hard to keep the Robins from nesting there. The first summer I hung shiny spinny ribbons above it (you can see the remains in the picture). The 2nd summer the Robins wove the ribbons into their nest (I didn’t get a picture, I should have). The 3rd summer we stacked odd shaped irregular items on top of it. They nested on top of the irregular shapes. Then I hit on the bird spikes, you can get a 10ft pack from Amazon for not to much. They worked for two years, it was awesome. Then, in the mess that has been this spring, I left for work one morning and spotted the above image, and of course had to snap a picture. The nest is built up enough none of the spikes poke through. It was probably there for a day or two at least before I spotted it, it generally takes them a day or two to build it. I feel like it needs one of those motivational captions about overcoming your environment. I guess I need to come up with a new solution for next year……