Sparrow repellents, deterrents, biology and Identification
Why Control Pest Sparrows?
The House sparrow (Passer Domesticus)
is the number two urban pest bird. Introduced as a species to North
America, the house sparrow quickly spread across the country due to its lack of
natural enemies and its adaptive traits. Its ability to nest in urban
structures, eat urban scraps and a large breeding capacity are some of these
The House Sparrow is actually a member of the weaverbird family
and not a true Sparrow. Their legs and toes are favored for
branch perching and their short conical bills are ideal for seed cracking. They are boisterous, intelligent birds who roost in noisy
flocks on branches of city trees, ivy covered walls and under eaves of houses.
to 10 yrs. captive
Seeds, Grains, Insects & Fruit
Trees & Structures
They build large nests relative to size which function as the center of all
activity. They prefer small enclosed places such as house shutters, drainage
piping, building rafters and corrugated metal siding. They will build a
spherical nest in a tree or another exposed place if they have no other
option. The building material will be sticks, with an inside lining of
grass, string, fabrics or straw. The nest will often hold several families.
House sparrows only mate for a season. They average three broods per mating
season with each brood containing four to seven eggs with 20 offspring a year
average. Egg coloration will be white, pale blue or pale green with a few gray
or brown dots. If unchecked, a breeding pair can grow to over 2,000 birds in two
to three years.
Both male and
female take care of the young, even though the female does most of the brooding.
The eggs will hatch 10 to 14 days after incubation. The young leave the nest
after 15 days, however the adults will continue to feed the young for two weeks
after leaving the nest. House sparrows are aggressive and social. Sparrows are
not a migratory bird. Studies have shown that non-breeding adult and juveniles
will only move in a 5 mile radius of its original nest; in search of new
territories and feeding areas
House Sparrows are not migratory, but in cold climates can show movement
between rural/suburban breeding sites and warmer winter roosting
sites in the city. House Sparrows are aggressive birds and will often force
out other birds from their territories. They are flocking birds and will
gather in the thousands to take over feeding and roosting areas.
House Sparrows are often a nuisance in urban areas like
manufacturing and food processing plants. Gutters and drainage pipes clogged
with sparrow nests can backup and cause extensive water damage and fires
have been attributed to electrical shorts caused by machinery housing
sparrow nests. Lastly, feces buildup can lead to structural damage from the
uric acid in droppings, plus the bacteria, fungal agents and parasites in
the feces also pose a health risk.
Sparrows also are known to kill native song birds by
killing the babies or breaking the eggs in the nest, they may be cute but
not to native species.
House sparrows are not protected by federal law because they are an
introduced species to America. Some areas in the United States do offer
them protection, and require a permit for the removal or eradication of
house sparrows but not in Arizona or Nevada.
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