Although they don’t look exotic, house sparrows are considered an exotic species. They are non-native birds that were introduced into North America in the mid-ninteenth century, and to say they have thrived is putting it mildly. Currently they are thriving in my backyard, and I am not thrilled! Before the big oak tree on the back of our property fell in November and we ended up with a large brush pile in our backyard, flocks of these sparrows were happy inhabitants of a large shrub at the corner of our neighbor’s driveway. Now they have relocated from the overgrown shrub to the brush pile. To say they are happy is an understatement, but me…not so much! Currently the tufted titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, downy woodpeckers, and blue jays are coexisting with the sparrows, but I am concerned that they will drive away the little bluebirds and other migratory songbirds with their noisy behavior, overwhelming presence, and tendency to take over nesting boxes. As the proprietor of the backyard bird buffet, that would make me a very unhappy home owner.
At the moment I am somewhat entertained by their antics at the “watering hole” as evidenced by these pictures of the male and female house sparrows:
…but this gang is aggressive and wearing out their welcome with me! As winter wanes and the migratory warblers reappear on the annual return journey from their winter homes in warmer climates, I am hoping to offer them a safe haven in my backyard buffet. Unfortunately, the presence of a noisy
flock gang of house sparrows is definitely less than welcoming.
If any of you bird lovers have suggestions for how to discourage these invaders, please pass along what you know. I don’t want to play host to unfriendly invaders that are detrimental to all the beautiful songbirds that could find a happy home here. Meanwhile I am using the power of google to learn what I can before the time arrives for the spring migration.