House sparrows nest building antics

Cyres

Well-Known Member
Yesterday morning I watched a cock house sparrow collecting a few pigeon feathers of my back path. So I went into my garage and got a handfull of mixed pigeon/duck feathers and put it on the veggi patch. Within a minute they were on it and i must of had a dozen or so carting feathers to their nests.

Last night all the feathers were gone it was quite a substantial hand full so this am I put out another big handful and hey presto a repeat performance.

I used to have them nesting in my roof/cavity but since re roffing they cannot get in. This feb I made a 8 box communal sparrow box which is now in place under the eaves but I think its not in use, prehaps it went up a bit too late.

Lets see what happens.

D
 

TOMMO.B

Well-Known Member
Its always nice to give back. I keep the belly feathers from the geese i shoot and put them out. it is amazing to see how quick the birds catch on and utilise the feathers.
Also the ferrets line there bed with the same feathers for winter.
like levigsp i USED to leave skins out. But after a crow pulled a rabbit skin up in to a large ash tree in my garden and it hung there for a year, like a stranded cat. my wife said no more.:cry:
 

philip

Well-Known Member
Its always nice to give back. I keep the belly feathers from the geese i shoot and put them out. it is amazing to see how quick the birds catch on and utilise the feathers.
Also the ferrets line there bed with the same feathers for winter.
like levigsp i USED to leave skins out. But after a crow pulled a rabbit skin up in to a large ash tree in my garden and it hung there for a year, like a stranded cat. my wife said no more.:cry:
I've put two of the organic type hanging basket liners and a net of hay with pigeon feathers out in a mesh sack as I've had tree sparrows roosting in a very thick bay tree all winter, looks like they've taken up residence with nests as well - I'm chuffed as a monkey, fingers crossed they'll have a brood or two, over half the mesh bag has disappeared hopefully in the tree
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
i think I read sometime back that their numbers had vastly reduced, possibly due to new houses not being so open. The Tree Sparrow is also not as common as it was when I was a boy.
Frankly I quite like there cheeky antics and don't mind them at all. Everything has a place on this planet.
 

bobjs

Well-Known Member
i think I read sometime back that their numbers had vastly reduced, possibly due to new houses not being so open. The Tree Sparrow is also not as common as it was when I was a boy.
Frankly I quite like there cheeky antics and don't mind them at all. Everything has a place on this planet.
used to sit on the river leven when I was a boy watching them steeling my dads fishing bait..........love them to bits cheeky and very brave wee things

bob.
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
Great little birds, I now regret all the slaughter I used to do with my air rifle,and getting thruppence a nest for pulling them out of the Barn eaves. My pet name for the Mrs is "Spug" *(cock sparrer). When she pulls all the hair out of her hairbrush she chucks it under the bird feeders, and Sparrows, Chaffinches and Tits soon carry it off as nesting material. Really good to watch the spugs strutting about,chirping with drooping wings trying for a mate.
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
Great little birds, I now regret all the slaughter I used to do with my air rifle,and getting thruppence a nest for pulling them out of the Barn eaves. My pet name for the Mrs is "Spug" *(cock sparrer). When she pulls all the hair out of her hairbrush she chucks it under the bird feeders, and Sparrows, Chaffinches and Tits soon carry it off as nesting material. Really good to watch the spugs strutting about,chirping with drooping wings trying for a mate.
We all killed Spadgers and Spugs, there were millions of them and I don't regret killing them, same goes for Bullies and Starlings, it was done out of necessity.
However I will do my upmost to help any creature that's suffering declines.
 

Cyres

Well-Known Member
Me too shoot literally hundreds to feed the ferrets, but at harvest time there were swarms in the hedgerows.

Now in places quite rare, when I re roofed the house the cavity was full of sparrows nests, but the re roof had felt support trays and insect coombs so they were excluded. I had the wood to make the communal box for some while but only got arround to making it this year, lots of plans on line.

I love seeing the meeles of sparrows when they are fighting quite a rough and tumble.

D
 

TURNBOLT

Well-Known Member
Heck this takes me back ,used to be thousands of them in the hedgerows, but what I recall is the yew trees near the farmhouse , they were full of their nests. And I mean Full!
 

Silverfoxfintry

Well-Known Member
When I insulated my loft a few years ago I deliberately created nest boxes from spare Kingspan.
Every year since I have had the little bugers fighting over them.
When the Dachshunds get stripped we leave the hair below the bird feeders, it lasts about a day.
One thing, every year we find a few dead chicks below the nests, more in bad springs.
 

ileso

Well-Known Member
They nest in the walls of my house.. they make quite a racket about this time of the year... I enjoy it.
 

johngryphon

Well-Known Member
levigsp you have it right,as an introduced species they are vermin here.

The early Pom settlers couldn't handle the flies here so they put out a call for Hedge Sparrows back in England,there was a price of a 1/2 P for a dozen (?) and it didnt take long before the smarter of the Poms took it upon themselves to trap HOUSE sparrows instead of the insectivorous HEDGE sparrows as the House spadgers were so much easier to trap. The Poms here didnt have a clue as they look so similar hence the numbers and the House sparrow has taken over here and nests in buildings and is a general pest and wont eat the effn flies!

I do remember Hedge sparrows from about the age of 8-10 that nested in colonies in African Box Thorn bushes all together (another import) I dont know if any still exist at all.

Now the house spadger is the dominant one and is a seed eater and general scrounge far more than an insect eater..and yes they are effn rats like the Mynahs,the starlings,the blackbirds,the thrushes...and on and on!

There is nothing better for a 10 year old kid with a slug gun stalking spadgers and shooting them around the fowl run etc I never had enough pocket money for 177 slugs for the amount of shooting I was doing..ring necked doves were better as I always ate them.
 
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Ray7756

Well-Known Member
I get about 20 pair every year, first few have arrived, little buggers never eve sh@t on my shooting truck, but loved to sh"t on the mrs bmw, its a bugger cleaning it off but i love having them around, they are always there when im cutting the grass scooping up the insects
long may they return
Ray
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
I get about 20 pair every year, first few have arrived, little buggers never eve sh@t on my shooting truck, but loved to sh"t on the mrs bmw, its a bugger cleaning it off but i love having them around, they are always there when im cutting the grass scooping up the insects
long may they return
Ray
Obviously they are not fond of Europe's leaders cars,Patriotic little birds good luck to them!!!

:D
 

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