View Full Version : How do you get rid of sparrows?
04-06-2007, 09:47 PM
We've always had a multitude of these rather disgusting and aggressive little birds in our big old overgrown garden, so when 10 years ago we moved to a new house site, with no garden atall, and we established a no-water garden based on Australian native plants and succulents, we thought they would no longer be a problem.
We were OK for about 5 years but since then they have been creeping in, and we now have a regular flock. Terrorising and driving native birds away; pooing on the car in the garage; giving the veggie seedlings hell.
Any ideas about getting rid of them - preferably permanently? So far we have tried poison (they won't touch it), traps (they won't go in), and firearms (they are super-elusive, all take flight at the first sign of human movement).
06-06-2007, 08:32 PM
Blackbirds - use rat traps so maybe mouse traps would work?
I think it would be like stopping cane toads. You can kill some but sheer weight of numbers and species adaptability makes the result a forgone conclusion. To a lesser extent around Perth we have the same thing with rainbow lorikeets - its too late to eradicate them so they become part of the ecosystem, and other less agressive species are ill equiped to compete.
06-06-2007, 08:49 PM
My neighbour has a sparrow problem. I have virtually no sparrows at my place. They keep chickens, and the sparrows feed from the hen house and pen. We live in a semi-rural suburb, so they are quite close to my place.
So, maybe consider what is about your place, or your neighbourhood that makes it attractive to sparrows.
It might be worth asking the council if there is a problem more widespread too.
Cats can be taught to catch sparrows.
As an aside, in my experience it's hard to get rid of something when you hate it.
07-06-2007, 08:13 AM
The other day I met this guy who is part of a group of who train raptors. He said that there is a call for natural eradication of pest species in birds by using trained hawks here in Australia, but his group are prevented by gov' legislation. He said they do get call outs and have to operate in secret. A trained hawk will get rid of birds in an orchard after only a few kills as the rest get the message and leave after a couple of days, saves thousands on netting! After watching the sad attempt to capture the starlings in Tammworth on the news the other night I can't believe hawking isn't allowed in this country! I say get into it people...join the Aus association here and start lobbying!
So ct, I wonder if you got hold of some hawk like kites and put them up around your garden if that would help. Otherwise it's netting and caging veges that will be the only solution for you. The sparrows are definitely getting fed somewhere to come into your garden regularly... excess chicken feed, or easy access to it, is a definite draw card, for rodents as well....so maybe that's an issue as well?
Cheers and goodluck Kathleen
07-06-2007, 07:20 PM
Thanks everyone for those thoughts. The main mob of sparrows live next door - about 1 km away - big lush garden with mostly English style plantings - the ones we see here at not so numerous, but appear to be the scouts who are on the lookout for new territory.
Someone told me you just have to kill the males, of which there are only one or two in our sparrow population, and that will send the others away, back where they came from.
Might try a hawk kite - unfortunately I guess it will drive off wrens and silvereyes as well, and possibly even galahs and rosellas? We are looking at netting, a bit of a pain but maybe necessary.
Cheers to all
Crowtrapper. ( Should that be "Sparrowtrapper" ??.....)
08-06-2007, 05:18 AM
The netting's always a good solution but admittedly a bit labor intensive. You can see some high quality bird netting at http://www.bird-x.com/products/bnet.html. It's UV-stabilized so it won't degrade in the sun and will last pretty much forever. There are other products you can buy. The hawk idea is a good one, though a kite might not do the trick. The TerrorEyes balloon is designed to mimic the hawk and other raptor predators with markings and holographic eyes that follow birds wherever they go. You can see that at http://www.bird-x.com/products/terror.html. Bird-X, Inc. has dozens of humane and economical bird pest control options. I'm sure one of them will work for you. (As an afterthought, IrriTape might work, too, check it out)
08-06-2007, 11:50 AM
If you have had enough of the sparrows then chances are others are feeling the same way , inlist some helpers the birds are probably nesting and sheltering somewhere near by , pinetrees and date palms are a favorite for them and also starlings , so think about hitting them while they are asleep . Follow them just before dark and see where they hide , raid there nests , terrorise them if nothing else it will make you feel better .
09-06-2007, 02:05 AM
I've got to say that bird netting turned into a nightmare for me, and a cruel trap for a lot of other things besides birds. Bats get trapped in it, our best friends when it comes to flying insects and mosquitos, gopher snakes, which took me an hour apiece to clip loose, other birds that are meat eaters and are protecting your crops. It's not good stuff in my experience, I've gotten rid of all of mine.
Here's a link for a sparrow spooker:
And there is red flash tape that is foil red and lightweight, blows in the least breeze and flashes red, which a lot of birds don't like. The grape growers where I am put these all around their grapes to deter birds.
Marinas have problems with birds, too, and here's a site with some help:
09-06-2007, 07:34 AM
Trapping is a really effective method of removing sparrows. Sparrows will happily enter traps and respond well to baiting a trap for a couple of weeks so that the sparrows can come and go. Once this habit has been developed you can close the exit.
1 \ / 1
That is a very rudimentary idea of the shape side on. The entrance way is at the bottom of the v, it can be holes in the netting or a slide in board with holes/funnels in etc. One end is a doorway that originally is left open for the sparrows to enter and leave, when the sparrows are used to using the trap after a week put an escape funnel in the door so they are entering via the 'v'. Give it a few days and then block the escape hole.
If you have ever seen an 'opera trap' used for yabbies you will understand the principle. The birds enter at bottom of the V and fly upwards into both corners to escape.
These sorts of traps were fairly common in the 60s... small ones maybe 3' high, 3' long with the 'drop down' in the centre probably at about 8'' for sparrows and big scale ones were used for crows. I didnt ever see anything except the target species in the traps. These traps if big enough can catch an entire flock.
Bait a sparrow trap with budgie seed or wheat which is spread directly under the 'v'. It is a great idea to put a bit of wool, coir or old mattress stuffing in them too. Sparrows [like most permies] are always looking for free building materials and this will often coax the last few in.
Catch your sparrows at night with red cellophane over a torch, birds cant see in the red light.
Winter-spring is the best time to catch sparrows before the wild grasses seed.
09-06-2007, 08:29 AM
Must be terrible for you having all those sparrows to contend with! They are disappearing in England and they are 'worried'. Perhaps you have an opportunity rather than a problem. You could catch them and ship them to England.
The birds are there because they find food. Believe it or not, they are not there to 'poo' on your car. Eliminate the food source and they will leave your car in peace. :idea:
09-06-2007, 06:25 PM
Gee thanks Floot and everyone else - I'm getting plenty of ideas here! Now, Floot, the trap you refer to - I understand those kind of traps really well. I'm not called Crowtrapper for nothing. The sparrow trap I tried most recently was a complete failure - baited it with free feeds of wheat for a couple of weeks, and the sparrows went in and out freely - then closed the exit off and they still went in and out freely! The entrance was so small they could only just fit through it but somehow they could fly back out through it too. Perhaps the secret is to have the point of the vee higher up off the ground, this particular trap had the point of the vee about 10cm above the ground, and it was about 5cm wide.
I agree with Sweetpea about the netting. It does work but what a hassle and all sorts of things get caught in it.
I rather like the idea of exporting sparrows to England. Payback for the things they have exported here over the last 200 yrs - rabbits, foxes, Paterson's curse, rats and mice, the list goes on and on .....
09-06-2007, 10:10 PM
Yes the centre of the V has to be above 'jump' point for the sparrows. They cant be able to launch themselves off the ground back through the trap with closed wings.
From distant memory the bottom of the vee was about 8'' above the floor but it has been a while. If you are luring them in, then you can modify your structure and despatch these 'winged rodents' .
Don't get me wrong naysayers. I do appreciate that sparrows are cute, but in a rational world I feel the same way about hydatids, tapeworms, parking inspectors and tax officers, .......... ie, I have yet to be convinced of their worth.
DW in Id.
11-06-2007, 03:26 AM
Howdy everyone. I'm a new user on here and I've also been looking for a way to "eliminate" sparrows, for years. We live on a small acreage and have what seems like an endless supply of them.
In years past, I've tried most all of the various eliminating methods and ideas that one can find. I've never found a method that's been anything more than just tempory at best, short of actually shooting them which I've done for years. That's obviously a permanent elimination of the unlucky ones but there's a large enough of a supply of the birds that even shooting them doesn't seem to do much good.
I'm hoping that to continue shooting them and destroying the nests when I can get to them, it will eventually force them out but I don't see that happening anytime soon...
Good luck.... DW
30-08-2007, 02:32 PM
Well thanks again to everyone with ideas on getting rid of sparrows. Finally we got round to making a sparrow spooker (see Sweetpea's post above, the Sialis website has photos and diagrams).
We made ours from steel rod, 1200mm long, with one 600mm long piece of flat steel (25mm x 3mm) welded on to it at right angles, to form a tee. We pushed it into the ground in our veggie patch - well actually we have one to every metre of a long raised bed - and to each end of the tee piece we tied a piece of light aluminium foil (old chip packet). It worked 100% ! but after a few days the foil fell apart and the string got twisted.
So we used fishing line instead; and attached the line to a hole drilled in the tee piece, using a snap hook with swivel (from the fishing tackle shop). And it works a treat. Constant movement of the foil pieces, even with no wind (well almost none that you can feel). The sparrows spend all day circling but it is no use they are too worried about the constant sparkly movement below them.
Peas that were struggling have suddenly taken off, from the very day that the sparrow spookers were installed. We knew the sparrows were chewing them, but had not realised how much damage they were doing.
Cheers to all my fellow sparrow spookers ....
30-08-2007, 04:18 PM
Have you got kids? buy them each a shanghai and give them ten cents for each sparrow.
at one of the places I lived at I had a real problem with starlings - until I got a shanghia - I became a really good shot and they got the message that my garden was off limits. There's no way you will ever get rid of all of them, but word seems to get around the bird world that so and so's garden is a place where no one comes back from.
03-09-2007, 05:31 AM
crowtrapper, that's great, I'm glad it worked! And your addition of the swivel hook is a great idea :)
06-07-2011, 08:17 AM
The question is really whether it is possible to have a chook pen that is sparrow proof in which chooks can be feed and free to come and go without letting in and out the sparrows. I was wondering about a draw bridge that used the weight of the chook to open the door and so unless about 30 sparrows try to walk in on mass, they are not going to be able to get in or out.
The other method I tried as a kid was extending the rope on the chook house drop down door about 60m so I could remotely drop the hatch and trap the sparrows in the chicken wire chook pen. Then it was time to visit with the tennis racket and a hungry dog. Mouse traps also worked inside the pen high up where the sparrows were flying in and out before I sprarrow proofed it. No native birds were ever taken. These measures certainly dropped their numbers but a chicken operated door would be the ultimate solution.
28-04-2012, 03:53 PM
If you wan to completely get rid of sparrow then calling in sparrow controller is the best option. Other than that here are some easy things you can do to get rid of sparrows:
1. Remove the nests
2. Remove nesting spots
3. Shoot them with small pellet guns
4. Use bird traps
5. Use bird repellants
13-05-2012, 12:12 AM
A few years back my son was looking after feeding the chooks and didn't know that letting the sparrows in to feed was not the done thing. Then one day I counted over sixty of them on the power lines over the yard.
It took patience and a twelve gauge to solve the problem.
I set up a tray out of the chook's reach with some chook food and just waited in the bushes. It took almost two weeks a few hours a day to whittle that flock of sixty to zero. Funny, I haven't seen a sparrow since. I just wish starlings were as easy.
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