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tradewind
Apr. 19, 2011, 09:24 AM
Last year I noticed a big drop in my barn swallow population, and I adore my barn swallows. Could not figure out what was going on. This early spring I discovered english sparrows in my barn. I worked very hard on eradicating them, but still had a few left I was working on, My barn swallows went to come in the barn the other day and were driven off by the little bastards. I got the last two sparrows yesterday and I am just so annoyed and upset that I may not be able to get my barn swallows to come back. Barn swallows just mean spring and summer to me, plus I love their insect eating abilities. I also enjoy their company while I am mowing, as they follow me around. I am just bummed.

tasia
Apr. 19, 2011, 05:09 PM
I have purple martins and totally understand your pain. I've been lucky and english sparrows haven't been a problem, so far. I hope your birds come back!!

MarionHorse
Apr. 19, 2011, 05:18 PM
:( Hope your swallows come back. I loved the little dive-bombing buggers when I had them, too. Now that I'm stuck in an apartment for a while, I've got European Starlings nesting in my heat vent... ugh, birds.

Curious, how are you getting rid of the sparrows?

We also had some large barn owls living in a nest box built up in the loft for them, and they kept the rodent population in check. :) Love barn birdies!

Romany
Apr. 19, 2011, 06:50 PM
I enjoy sparrows - they're the soccer supporters of the bird world, with their bad manners and scrappy behaviour.

I don't mind them around the farm - it's the grackles I can't abide. They crap everywhere, use vile language, and always nest in exactly the wrong place.

tasia
Apr. 19, 2011, 06:52 PM
I enjoy sparrows - they're the soccer supporters of the bird world, with their bad manners and scrappy behaviour.

I don't mind them around the farm - it's the grackles I can't abide. They crap everywhere, use vile language, and always nest in exactly the wrong place.

I like sparrows too, but english sparrows are not a native bird and cause problems for the swallows and blue birds.

palominomom
Apr. 19, 2011, 08:13 PM
Introduced species. You can trap them.. I had a sparrow trap right on my purple martin house pole and used it a lot! :lol:

tradewind
Apr. 19, 2011, 10:56 PM
I have alot of native birds here, sparrows included. I am fine with all of that. English sparrows are an entirely different matter. As far as how I got rid of them, I destroyed their nests and trapped some. I want my barn swallows back. Thanks for the support everybody and if any of you have ideas on how to get my swallows back, I would really appreciate it.

ToTheNines
Apr. 20, 2011, 08:10 AM
Sadly, my barn swallows were also chased off by English sparrows (Central Texas). However, I do have a thriving purple martin community, with two poles and a total of twenty "gourds".

I do two things: I have about twenty nest boxes on poles that were intended for bluebirds. These are placed all over the farm. I have found that the sparrows tend to use the boxes close to the barn. I clean them out every ten days and destroy the sparrow nests and eggs.

I also lower the purple martin condo every ten days and do the same. I am sure that it keeps the swallow population somewhat at bay. You can easily tell the difference between sparrow nests and eggs and those of other birds.

As a side note, I actually do have a thriving bluebird population from the other boxes that are out in the pastures.

This is a lot of work, but I have a wildlife management tax exemption that makes wildlife efforts worth the trouble. For the nest boxes, I have attached a floor flange to the bottom, and then screwed in an 8' pipe (both from Home Depot). Then I drive a 4' metal fence post into the ground. I rest the nest box pole against the fence post and fasten with zip ties. This makes it very easy to lower the nest box, clean it out, and raise it again.

tasia
Apr. 20, 2011, 08:10 AM
Maybe check out the purple martin forum, purplemartin.org. I hope you get your birds back!!