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House sparrows and pigeons at my feeders

Posted: Jun 19 1:29 pm
by mcrosbie
I used to get lots of chickadees year round. I also had regular song sparrow and white-crowned sparrow visitors to my feeders. (They no longer come). I am getting annoyed at the constant chirping of the house sparrows from early morning and throughout most of the day. They sit in the trees beside my apartment and made a lot of noise. So far, other tenants haven't complained. I would like to discourage these visitors and wonder if simply removing the feeders for a week or so might discourage them. I also get pigeons eating the seeds and they poop all over everything. I chase them away whenever I can.

Any suggestions how to discourage these pesky birds? (House sparrows are an invasive species as most birders know).

Re: House sparrows and pigeons at my feeders

Posted: Jun 19 8:37 pm
by jewill
Yes, house sparrows and pigeons can be a real problem for those of us who like to put up bird feeders. With me it’s starlings. You could take the feeders down for awhile but it won’t be long, after you put them back up, that they will return. What type of seed are you offering? They don’t like Nyger or safflower seeds (note safflower not sunflower - they love sunflower seeds). Also they seem to stay away from suet mainly because it’s difficult for them to grab on to the feeder, especially if you use an upside down one (this is what I use almost exclusively). Another type of feeder they don’t really like is the tube or mesh bag style, again because they can’t get a good grip.
I’ve found these methods to be somewhat effective at best. It seems once they discover a good place to eat it’s very difficult to keep them away.
Good luck!

Re: House sparrows and pigeons at my feeders

Posted: Jun 21 4:57 pm
by mcrosbie
Thanks, Judy. the news isn't very good. Perhaps I need to remove my feeders for the entire season. I'll figure out what to do. i am using an Armstrong mix of seeds and there are sunflower seeds. I will see what I can find in the way of other types of seeds.

Re: House sparrows and pigeons at my feeders

Posted: Jun 21 5:36 pm
by jewill
If you take your feeders down now it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the birds. Yes, you’ll have some unhappy customers, but there’s lots of bugs, worms, seeds and berries around for them to eat. Then try putting them back up in the fall and see what happens.