Tuesday, March 10, 2009







Then there are the BLUE WARS. Right now there are Blue Birds all over my yard. However there is a turf war going on between these lovely creatures and the scoundrel English Sparrow aka House Sparrow.

I am truly a person who is besotted with the animal world, all creatures great and small. There are only two creatures that earn my scorn and whom I find difficult to tolerate. No, the shark is not among the two. He scares me but I still respect him. The two I grit my teeth over are the English or House Sparrow and the Cow Bird. Yes, two lovely feathered creatures. I could never hurt either but I don't mourn when something else hurts them.

The sparrow is responsible largely for the decline of the Blue Bird. They are nest stealers and will attack and kill a nesting female Blue Bird or equally horrific, they will kill the nestlings. They also wreak havoc on the Tree Swallow which is also disappearing. Bullies in any form I can't handle.

Then there are the Cowbirds. I think they are attractive birds and the sound they make is quite appealing. However, they are worse than the Octamom. She just wants us to give her money for her litter of kids while the cowbird wants nothing to do with hers. She will lay her egg in another birds nest, then go on her merry way. The honkin' big baby hatches, pushes the nest owners babies out of the nest and runs the small parents ragged feeding this large baby. Bad parenting ranks right up with bullies.

I am doing my best to stop the nest stealing but it is running me a bit ragged. I keep watching for the Sparrow to sneak into the Blue Bird's construction site. Then I sneak up to the nest box, slap it on the side and watch a terrified Sparrow burst out. I then laugh like the villain in the Perils of Pauline. I just have to be sure that the Blue Bird is not in the box. Hopefully I will make this area unappealing to the Sparrow.

Wish me luck. Any one out there have a better and less time consuming method???


  1. I know nothing of how to intervene with them. I just watch birds on my deck and nothing more. Speaking of bluebirds, one or more has been either molting or fighting in my yard, because I have found 7 tail feathers in the last few days.

  2. I don't know how to intervene with House Sparrows either. One place you might want to look, though, is Julie Zickefoose's site. She's a naturalist birder who often has grand ideas about these kinds of things.

    Wonderful series of blue photos. Your bluebirds are absolutely beautiful.

  3. There are a lot of expressions with blue. My daughter told me that a person with red hair is called a bluey. It's strange that the sparrow in your country is such a nasty bird, while it's here a pretty innocent bird but the crows are nasty buggers. You asked the name of the trees in the header. Well they are pollard willows, and they are growing here in abundance, for we have a lot of water. Your photos are very beautiful!

  4. kenju
    Sounds like there is mayhem in your yard. Think there are blue bird muggings going on.

    Robin Thank you so much for the site. I have bookmarked her. Great blog. I'll check her archives for sparrow control. Thanks for the kind words. I am working on my pictures. Looking for lessons.

    Now that would have been cute to have put your picture in the list.Should have done it.

    Reader Wil

    The sparrow was introduced here in the 1800's from Europe. If they weren't in such conflict with our
    local birds,they would be more kindly received for they are cute.
    Thanks for the ID on the willows. I will look them up to see what they are like in full foliage. Interesting looking trees.

  5. It so hard to control nature. I run into the same problem in the water world. Water has a mind of its own, it goes where you don't want it to, and when you really need it, the sky goes dry.

  6. Gee, Robert, do you think we should just do what we can with Nature and try to relax?? Easier said than done I fear.

  7. I've been battling house sparrows for years and have seen the devastation they cause. Dead tree swallows with their heads crushed/pecked, nests full of swallow & bluebird babies killed and tossed on the ground. Just awful, terrible little birds. I have considered giving up the nest boxes because of them for the safety of the others.

    The battle will continue in a few weeks when the bluebirds start checking out the boxes again.

  8. Barry, Know what you mean. I sometimes think the kindest thing would be to forgo the nest boxes altogether also. Somethimes feel I am setting them up for attack.