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House sparrows are an increasingly common problem bird in urban areas. These small, quick, intelligent pest birds are predominately brown and grey in color, with black striping around the eyes and neck in the male of the species. Sparrow legs and toes favor branch and wire perching and their short conical bills are ideal for cracking seeds and grain. Sparrows are very adaptable and have learned to nest in our structures and eat our scrap food. Sparrows often gather in huge flocks to fed and roost, aggressively forcing other birds out of their territories. Sparrows prefer nesting in small enclosed places such as house shutters, drainage piping, building rafters and corrugated metal siding. These pest birds average about 20 offspring a year, allowing their numbers to increase rapidly to infestation levels.
Damage Caused by Sparrows:
Sparrows are noisy problem birds, especially when they congregate in large flocks. Besides the annoying noise factor, sparrow problems are often found in manufacturing and food processing plants. These areas are particularly appealingto sparrows for their variety of nesting and feeding sites. Sparrow nests cause flooding from backups in gutters and drainage pipes, as well as clog machinery and even start fires from nesting materials in machinery housings. Sparrow droppings contain uric acid which is highly corrosive and can cause extensive damage to metals and other substrates it sits on for long periods. In addition, the bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in sparrow droppings and nesting materials are responsible for a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more. Many companies also retain significant clean up and maintenance costs due to sparrow control problems they don't resolve.
The best sparrow control product is 3/4” StealthNet bird netting. Bird net is extremely durable and creates a true bird barrier against sparrow problems. Bird netting permanently resolves sparrows problems, keeping these pest birds completely away from the area.
In addition to bird net, another effective sparrow control product is an electrical wire/track product. This is particularly useful for sparrow control on building ledges. Sparrows do not react to bird scare products, but two-chambered sparrow traps are a viable option for controlling small quantities of sparrow problems. A nest removal program should be implemented along with trapping for long-term effectiveness to get rid of sparrows. A new technique for sparrow bird control that has found some success is fogging with methyl anthranilate, a grape extract that reacts with the birds olfactory sense like pepper spray. This is a technique that should be undertaken by experienced professionals only.
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.
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.
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