What keeps sparrows out of bluebird houses?

Bluebirds are beloved birds that are known for their vibrant blue feathers and cheerful songs. Many people enjoy attracting bluebirds to their yards by providing them with nesting boxes, also known as bluebird houses. However, one common problem that bluebird enthusiasts face is sparrows taking over their bluebird houses. Sparrows are aggressive birds that will often evict bluebirds from their nests and even destroy their eggs. This can be frustrating for bluebird lovers, but there are several ways to keep sparrows out of bluebird houses.

1. Choose the right type of bluebird house

The first step in keeping sparrows out of bluebird houses is to choose the right type of house. Bluebirds prefer houses with a 1.5-inch entrance hole, while sparrows prefer larger holes. By using a house with a smaller entrance hole, you can prevent sparrows from entering and taking over the nest. It is also important to choose a house with a sloped or overhanging roof, as sparrows prefer flat roofs for their nests.

2. Install a sparrow spooker

A sparrow spooker is a device that can be attached to the top of a bluebird house to deter sparrows. It consists of a few pieces of fishing line or wire that are attached to the top of the house and hang down in front of the entrance hole. The movement of the lines in the wind will scare away sparrows, as they do not like anything obstructing their path.

3. Use a nestbox trap

Another effective way to keep sparrows out of bluebird houses is to use a nestbox trap. This is a specially designed trap that allows bluebirds to enter and exit freely, but prevents sparrows from entering. The trap can be set up inside the bluebird house and should be checked regularly to remove any trapped sparrows.

4. Place the bluebird house in the right location

The location of the bluebird house can also play a role in keeping sparrows out. Bluebirds prefer open areas with low vegetation, while sparrows prefer areas with more cover. By placing the bluebird house in an open area, you can make it less attractive to sparrows.

5. Monitor the bluebird house regularly

Regular monitoring of the bluebird house is important to ensure that sparrows are not taking over. If you notice any signs of sparrows, such as nesting materials or aggressive behavior, take action immediately. Remove any nesting materials and use a sparrow spooker or nestbox trap to deter them.

6. Use a predator guard

Predator guards are devices that can be attached to the entrance hole of a bluebird house to prevent predators, such as sparrows, from entering. They can be as simple as a metal plate with a small hole for bluebirds to enter, or more elaborate designs that make it difficult for predators to reach the entrance hole.

7. Provide alternative nesting options for sparrows

In some cases, sparrows may still try to take over a bluebird house despite all efforts to deter them. In this case, it may be helpful to provide alternative nesting options for sparrows, such as a sparrow-specific house or a nesting box with a larger entrance hole. This can help redirect their attention away from the bluebird house.

In conclusion, sparrows can be a nuisance for bluebird enthusiasts, but there are several effective ways to keep them out of bluebird houses. By choosing the right type of house, using deterrents such as sparrow spookers and nestbox traps, and monitoring the house regularly, you can help ensure that bluebirds have a safe and secure place to nest. With a little effort and patience, you can enjoy the beauty and joy of bluebirds in your yard without the interference of sparrows.

What keeps sparrows out of bluebird houses?

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