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Re: Seeking Martin Advice
- To: <email@example.com>, "Maginnis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: Seeking Martin Advice
- From: "Alex, the Appalachian Naturalist" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 00:22:22 -0400
- References: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Reply-to: "Alex, the Appalachian Naturalist" <email@example.com>
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail and all;
The only sparrows I know of you need to worry about are the House or English
Sparrow. The male will take over a box and rout the residents whatever they
may be and kill the young. This is also true of Starlings.
The House (or English) Sparrow is not really a sparrow at all, but a Weaver
Finch, and some feel they should be dealt with "with extreme prejudice", as
they are not native, and none of the native birds have developed any
strategies to deal with them in the way they have for other "accused" nest
robbers who are native to the US like Blue Jays or House Wrens. House
Finches - who look sort of like a Purple Finch, only different- are also to
an extent cavity or crevice nesters, but I have never heard of them being
any threat to native birds. They are sort of introduced, being native to the
Starlings should also be treated with "extreme prejudice".
Sparrows in general, at least the ones I am familiar with, are not hole or
cavity nesters, preferring instead a woven nest on the ground or a low bush
or tree; some of them even weave a covering over the nest. I would suspect
the "sparrows" you are seeing are House or English Sparrows, not any native
sparrow. There are various ways of dealing with these birds, and a study I
did for an Animal Behavior class suggested that House Finches may be out
competing House Sparrows in many areas, but this is really no solution. My
solution for House Sparrows and Starlings is probably not appropriate for
On another thread, the use of "shorthand" for birds, such as HoFi (for House
Finch) and MoDo (Mourning Dove) or BB (Blue Bird) or HY (hatching year)
might be more readily received if done in this way, so that people who
rarely band birds might be made aware of the meaning of these "code names"
at the head of a document. I also use shorthand; D. rot (Drosera
rotundifolia = Round LeafSundew), D. ochro (Desmognathus ochrophaeus =
Mountain Dusky Salamander) and others, but I try to place a full name at the
start of a document so others don't get totally confused. Of course, I am
unlikely to be talking about any of these on this list...
The Blue Birds are still at it, and I heard the cheeping of young for the
first time today. Have seen Starlings passing over, but they seem to know
better than to light in the yard when Blue Birds - is Bluebirds or Blue
Birds correct usage? - are nesting here.
Alex Netherton, the Appalachian Naturalist
----- Original Message -----
From: "Maginnis" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2002 5:11 PM
Subject: Seeking Martin Advice
I have been so happy to have martins for the first time in eleven years. I
am pretty sure there is at least one apartment occupied and possibly two.
Yesterday I saw one sparrow, not sure which kind, with a twig perched on
the railing of the house, but it flew off without entering the house.Today
a one sparrow and about 4 house finches were perched on the roof of the
martin house.There was one martin perched on the railing at the same time.
I have heard of sparrows and starlings taking over martin houses, but don't
know about house finches. Will they encroach on an occupied apartment? I
have enjoyed the house finches at my feeders this season, but am thinking
of bringing them inside to discourage the finches from hanging around.