Author Topic: Wild Bird Crisis?  (Read 1870 times)

Offline HeraAnanieAnnabell

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Wild Bird Crisis?
« on: April 25, 2011, 05:58:55 PM »
Okay, first let me say that I am not a bird person. I LOVE birds but I don't think I could ever handle them as pets. I'm more off a rat/dog/cat person, and it's my dogs causing the problem.

A couple months ago in winter I was digging out a chair that had been covered in Morning Glory flowers. I saw a bird's nest and started to investigate. I was going to pull it out and the rest of the flowers when I saw a dead chick in the nest. Idk, I kinda freaked and I left the nest and flowers as is. Well, this spring I found that a robin was nesting a few feet from my door, pretty cool, right? It seemed to pick a great spot to nest, safe, secluded, many buses to catch babies and help them learn to fly. But then today I went to remove the old nest from the chair and I noticed four speckled eggs laying there. I called my niece and asked her if she remembered finding any eggs when she asked to see the nest and she said no. I waited, and waited, and soon Momma came to lay on her eggs. She's a House Sparrow(not the best birds, I know) and I was excited that I would be able to watch the chicks grow when Momma was out hunting. One of my three huskies then started whining, needing to pee so I brought her out. That was when I noticed what a horrible place Mrs. Sparrow had picked for her nest. My three huskies can easily reach her(as well as the neighborhood outdoor cats) and her eggs. My shortest husky can reach her on all fours... I'm so worried they'll bother her. I've put up some heavy-duty string in attempt to keep them out of the area but they slip through and keep going near. I can't move the dog's tie-out because of digging problems. There's only one area in the yard where if they dig it won't bring up wires, and that's where they are. If I move them to where Momma won't be scared away they'll dig up electrical wires :/ I have no clue what to do with the nest. Also, is it true that if you touch the eggs the mother won't take care of them?

Offline Sorraia

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Re: Wild Bird Crisis?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 07:32:41 PM »
Do you live outside of Europe? If so... I honestly wouldn't worry about it and just let nature take its course... House Sparrows are beyond PLENTIFUL, and in fact take over other birds' (including uncommon, threatened, and endangered species) nests. They are aggressive competitors and are often the most abundant species where they occur. They are not native outside of Europe, and especially in the US are awarded no protections. If your dogs eat the nest, that's not going to hurt the population at all.

Touching the eggs aren't going to make the mom abandon the nest. Birds don't have a very good sense of smell, so the whole idea of human scent being a problem is really just a myth. Most birds will not abandon the nest even if they watch you go to it. HOWEVER, the more you go to the nest, the more likely the bird WILL abandon it. Predators keep going back to the nest to get the "goodies" contained inside. It is the bird's natural instinct to abandon the nest, especially in the early stages, when they KNOW it has been found. Also, the more you go to it, the more likely your dogs will find it. They are going to notice your scent keeps going to it, and will wonder why you keep going to THAT specific location. Soon their curiosity may get the best of them and they will discover the nest.

If you don't want to actually forcibly evict the bird (which honestly I would do considering what a threat and aggressive competitor they are to native species), the best course of action is to just leave the nest alone and avoid the area. If your dogs find the nest... that's nature, nature is cruel sometimes. If they don't and the clutch survives, good for them. But once the nest has been emptied, PLEASE remove it so the house sparrow can't re-nest there again.  :BlueDumboBigEyes:
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Offline HeraAnanieAnnabell

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Re: Wild Bird Crisis?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 07:47:55 PM »
I know house sparrows are bad and I know that their numbers are plentiful, but I could never do that. Especially now that three of the four have hatched. Earlier this morning when the first one hatched my husky, Summer, scooped it up in her mouth and placed it on the chair. I was then able to place the baby back in the nest. What made the dogs notice the nest was when they went over to their usual spot to pee they got dive-bombed and one actually got pooped on xD

On a much, much happier note, the birds are not house sparrows, but gentle, patient chipping sparrows. The mom simply amazes me. When the dogs are out she attacks, even though she is so small, but when I walk out she stays. I have actually been able to get within six inched of her before she let out a call.  I tried to get pictures, but where the nest is it's impossible. The one time I got super close to them today was when mom was hunting. I peeked in and three babies were wriggling around, one gaping his mouth open.

When I thought that they were House Sparrows I decided on names. I love the show House, and since it's in their name I had to use that. The first one that hatched is House, the second is Wilson, and the others are named after Pirates of the Caribbean. Sparrow made me think of Captain Jack so the third chick is Sparrow and the unhatched egg will be Jack. Yea, I'm that crazy :P

I am concerned about mites, though. Sparrows are known to carry mites, is there a possibility that those mites may make it to my rats?

Offline Sorraia

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Re: Wild Bird Crisis?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 11:26:59 PM »
Any sparrows on the mites are most likely going to be species specific - which means they only like sparrows (maybe other birds), and not rats. So your rats should be safe! ;)

Glad to hear they aren't House Sparrows!  :thumbsup2:

I do understand what you mean about not being able to actively destroy the nest - I probably could not either. I have a couple bluebird boxes at my house, and when I noticed a House Sparrow building a nest in one of them, I passively evicted it (nest was still in the beginning stages, made it easier) by leaving the box open. Sparrow quickly decided it wasn't such a good place to nest after all, and I didn't have to really do anything!
NOM-ology A study in rat nutrition.
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Confessions of a Rat Breeder
http://bwr-rats.blogspot.com/

Offline Sorraia

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Re: Wild Bird Crisis?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 11:35:02 PM »
Any sparrows on the mites are most likely going to be species specific - which means they only like sparrows (maybe other birds), and not rats. So your rats should be safe! ;)

Glad to hear they aren't House Sparrows!  :thumbsup2:

I do understand what you mean about not being able to actively destroy the nest - I probably could not either. I have a couple bluebird boxes at my house, and when I noticed a House Sparrow building a nest in one of them, I passively evicted it (nest was still in the beginning stages, made it easier) by leaving the box open. Sparrow quickly decided it wasn't such a good place to nest after all, and I didn't have to really do anything!
NOM-ology A study in rat nutrition.
http://nom-ology.blogspot.com

Confessions of a Rat Breeder
http://bwr-rats.blogspot.com/