Monday, June 27, 2011

Empty nest syndrome

Our little tree swallows have left home. For the past little while, the parents were dive bombing anyone who set foot in the backyard, so we figured the little ones were ready to fledge. Yesterday, there was zero swallow activity, and the nesting box appears empty. So it was a successful year for them! (Last year, the house sparrows decided to take over the box and killed the three babies inside. I was completely traumatized.)


  1. I had no idea house sparrows were so bloodthirsty, or that avian real estate was so competitive! I recently bought a bird house that is supposed to be designed for Bluebirds, but now I'm wondering if the entrance is too large and might admit sparrows.

    I understand how you felt.


  2. House sparrows will take over any bird house/nesting box they can, and Bluebird houses are one of their favourites. The Bluebird house on our laneway is monitored by bird banders, and they put a "sparrow spooker" on top of it as soon as eggs had been laid; it seems to work. We actually put up a bird house last year that was supposed to be for house wrens, and the folks at the store assured us the opening was too small for house sparrows - well, those little buggers were determined and squeezed themselves into it. We ended up taking it down to keep the sparrows from laying more eggs.