Martin House Help...

aaluck

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So we put up a Purple Martin house and we have sparrows and blue birds nesting in the house...which I have been told will keep the Martins away. First question is is that true, or will the Martins eventually 'take over'? I pull it down and clean it out daily but they return just as fast.

Last evening we had about 8-12 Martins trying to get to the house but the other birds would fly at them keeping them away. Has anyone else had this problem or have any advice?

Thanks
 

jimh406

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House Sparrows are nonnative that attack other birds including Blue Birds. You can do whatever you want to get rid of them including shooting them. There are lots of methods people use to discourage House Sparrows including adding monofilament, foil, etc.

One male can “claim” lots of houses. In the house, the House Sparrows have an advantage because they have tougher beaks to crack seeds. Outside the house, Blue Birds have the advantage. I don’t know much about Purple Martins since there are none around here.

Blue Birds will generally nest right next to other birds but compete with other Blue Birds. If I was you, I’d add a Blue Bird house near the Purple Martin house for next year if it ends up an issue or this year if the Blue Birds haven’t built a nest yet.
 
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aaluck

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If I was you, I’d add a Blue Bird house near the Purple Martin house for next year if it ends up an issue or this year
This is actually a good idea. Might try it. Knowing my luck the sparrows will take one house and bluebirds the othero_O
 

Creature Meadow

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I find my blue birds are little picky! Mine like for me to put the houses near power lines, they sit up there and watch the house. Sparrows try and nest in the blue bird houses but I tear the nest out. Easy to tell blue bird nest will be clean no trash the sparrows use anything.

Lot of Martin houses near me but I have none, good luck.

The blue bird house near by may help you.

I really have more problems with Finches than sparrows, keeping hole in box right size helps as well.

Best of luck.
 
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mcfarmall

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I have a bird house near my porch for shooting sparrows. I also made two sparrow traps, one is a repeating trap that can catch 24 or so before it needs "emptying" and the other is a plain old bird house with a slide gate that closes the hole. A clear garbage bag over the bird house and closed up around the post allows me to inspect the trapped bird and either release it or destroy it. Last year I had very little problem with sparrows. I also have a box that I let the sparrows fill with eggs before "emptying" it periodically. Did I tell you I hate sparrows?
 
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cmorningstar01

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I have a bird house near my porch for shooting sparrows.
Just an FYI...The only non protected non game species of bird you can legally kill is a european starling, Sparrows are a protected species like all other non game birds so I would not be advertising that you are shooting them
 

ken erickson

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I had tree swallows hogging the blue bird houses on my land and did as Jimh406 suggested and put another house on the same post. Both species will tolerate each other in close proximity but not another of the same.
BTW Tree Swallows are native but do not get the same love as the Eastern Blue Bird , but I am happy to have both species doing their thing on my place.
DSC09795.JPG
DSC09753.JPG
 
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aaluck

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johnjk

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I was always told it was based on the diameter of the nest hole entrance. My bluebird houses have holes just a tad smaller than recommended and only bluebirds have used them for the last 4 yrs. possible that it is the same for the martin’s?
 
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D2Cat

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Just an FYI...The only non protected non game species of bird you can legally kill is a european starling, Sparrows are a protected species like all other non game birds so I would not be advertising that you are shooting them
The information in this article disagrees with your statement. https://wildlifecontroltraining.com/wildlife-species/birds-unprotected/

Legal Status

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act does not protect these species because they are not native to the US. However, some states and communities may restrict management. Before initiating control activities, accurately identify the species, as they can be easily confused with protected birds. Refrain from trying novel methods that may cause suffering and impacts to non-target species.
 

jimh406

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When a site says it is trying for socially responsible methods, it’s pretty clear it’s about an agenda and not the law. That’s ok, but hardly a reasonable source for what’s legal.
 

jimh406

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I was always told it was based on the diameter of the nest hole entrance. My bluebird houses have holes just a tad smaller than recommended and only bluebirds have used them for the last 4 yrs. possible that it is the same for the martin’s?
The problem is English Sparrows will use Blue Bird sized holes. Some people have tried slots. I’m happy that you don’t have a problem with them.

Supposedly, House Finches and English Sparrows compete. I had a few House Finches move onto my property two years ago and my English Sparrow reduced. Then, again, it could have been some really bad snow falls that took them out since English Sparrows don’t migrate like Blue Birds, and most other song birds.

Btw, there are native sparrows, so be sure you are hating the right birds. ;)
 

aaluck

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When a site says it is trying for socially responsible methods, it’s pretty clear it’s about an agenda and not the law. That’s ok, but hardly a reasonable source for what’s legal.
This is the Department of Conservation website in Alabama--in case your not familiar with that THEY control the hunting in the state--deer, turkey, quail, rabbit, etc. Since I live in Alabama it is not only a 'reasonable source' it is the ONLY source. Now other states may disregard the Federal suggestions but "hardly a reasonable source for what's legal"?
 

aaluck

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Btw, there are native sparrows, so be sure you are hating the right birds. ;)
BTW, I don't hate any bird, they eat amongst our chickens freely--which is why we probably have so many. I'm simply trying to bring in purple martins to eat bugs--if they keep invading the house I spent $300.00 on that won't happen. Just asked for suggestions and shooting them was one. For me I don't shoot anything I'm not prepared to set down on my table--which is a lot of critters--sparrows not one of them.
 

jimh406

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This is the Department of Conservation website in Alabama--in case your not familiar with that THEY control the hunting in the state--deer, turkey, quail, rabbit, etc. Since I live in Alabama it is not only a 'reasonable source' it is the ONLY source. Now other states may disregard the Federal suggestions but "hardly a reasonable source for what's legal"?
My response wasn’t to your post. D2Cat posted to a link to a socially responsible group. It looks like he might have deleted his post.

Sorry for the confusion.
 
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K.P.

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So we put up a Purple Martin house and we have sparrows and blue birds nesting in the house...which I have been told will keep the Martins away. First question is is that true, or will the Martins eventually 'take over'? I pull it down and clean it out daily but they return just as fast.

Last evening we had about 8-12 Martins trying to get to the house but the other birds would fly at them keeping them away. Has anyone else had this problem or have any advice?

Thanks
The best source of information is www.purplemartin.org
 
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mcfarmall

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Just an FYI...The only non protected non game species of bird you can legally kill is a european starling, Sparrows are a protected species like all other non game birds so I would not be advertising that you are shooting them
The House sparrow is a non-native, invasive species to North America that will destroy entire clutches of Eastern Bluebirds therfore...you know the rest.
 
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aaluck

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My response wasn’t to your post. D2Cat posted to a link to a socially responsible group. It looks like he might have deleted his post.

Sorry for the confusion.
No problem. I’m just trying to get these Martins in. Any suggestions are great.
 

cmorningstar01

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I was wrong, Besides European Starlings not being protected House Sparrows are also not protected but there are apx 16 different types of sparrows so make sure if you kill them they are the house sparrows, also a feral pigeon is not actually a wild bird, they are domestic animals that have gotten loose, However you should be sure they are actually feral and not belong to someone before killing them.
 
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