Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.
The House Sparrow hatched from an egg one of my grandsons collected died two days after hatching. That was not unexpected, given the almost constant needs of the bird. The egg came from a nest I removed from a bluebird nest box. When I find House Sparrows in my boxes I remove the nests and kill the birds. House Sparrows, an invasive species, will usurp bluebird nest sites, sometimes killing the bluebirds in the process. The loss of the newly hatched bird is no loss for me. It did give several children an extraordinary experience as they watched the bird emerge from its shell, and tended it through one day of life.
Most years on my 40-box bluebird trail I have found one sparrow nest in one particular box. I moved that box last fall, hoping to end the problem. This year -- four House Sparrow nests. The nests have been removed. This species is very persistent about nesting and renesting. I will be trapping this week to eliminate the problem. I have an in-box trap that confines the bird until removal. I understand that some people who like birds would not do what I do with the sparrows. I see a choice: native species or non-native species. Our native birds have problems enough without competition from invasives. I choose native birds.
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