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Any idea on how to Permanently get rid of house sparrows? They've taken over the bird feeders we've set up for our pigeons. Plus, they destroying all my plants and creating a huge mess everyday. I've tried feeding them separately, setting up decoys, even have dogs but nothing seems to be working. They're just too many. We used to see alot of different bird species outside but now all we see are sparrows. I really want them gone and I'd go out and buy a pellet gun but everything's closed. I can't even buy bird poison. Is it possible to make poison at home using household products to all to their feed?

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    Get a Coopers Hawk, downside, he will keep all birds away. – blacksmith37 Apr 7 at 15:01
  • That's a great idea but sounds too much of a challenge for me. I mean, a hawk ain't your typical friendly pet and i for one wouldn't even know where to start as far as training it is concerned. – Hamid Sabir Apr 8 at 0:47
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You can reduce sparrow numbers by changing what you're feeding the birds. House sparrows tend to like small seeds like corn, oats, wheat, and other types of grain seeds. According to this site, sparrows really like millet and cracked corn (maize). What they DON'T like is sunflower seeds, if those are available in your area.

Changing your feed is far preferable than trying to poison the birds - not least of all because if something poisons sparrows then there's a really good chance it'll poison other birds.

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  • House or English Sparrows in the US will eat about anything. – blacksmith37 Apr 7 at 15:03
  • They stay away from my feeder in Wisconsin, which contains primarily black sunflower, regular sunflower, and safflower seed. I see primarily house finches, nuthatches, chickadees and cardinals this time of year; when the migration is in full swing I get grosbeaks and other birds that are just passing through - and sometimes starlings or cowbirds, unfortunately. All with this same mix. But NO sparrows – Jurp Apr 7 at 17:25
  • jurp_ unfortunately that wouldn't work cause even if i did change the feed, they'd still be fed by the neighbours all around and i cant convince them of how sparrows are an invasive species and how much of a nuisance they are to the environment and that they should be seen for what they really are as PESTS. I'd probably get labelled if anything else. – Hamid Sabir Apr 8 at 1:31
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I'm sorry, but I also understand.

We have to control the grackles here or they destroy the diversity too.

I use a good air rifle with a good scope on it. .177 caliber and steel shot. I can discourage them enough that they cannot nest, but I have to be more persistent than they are.

Which means getting up whenever they start coming around and walking around for a few minutes. By now they are smart enough to fly away before I can shoot at them. Luckily they now only come around in the morning and in the evening so they must already have nests someplace else or have given up. There are no active nests this season so far that I can tell. Which is a big improvement over trying to pull nests out of trees and having 50 grackles attacking all the other bird's nests.

I also spent some time learning about them and which ones to target (females are smaller).

Can you go outside and scare them off regularly? If you have anything like tennis balls or something to throw at them that might help get them to move along faster.

And for a while perhaps stop feeding the birds.

We do not feed the birds here at all other than having the gardens for them to forage in and some berry bushes they feed upon.

We do have birdbaths that we keep clean which keeps birds around the yard where we can see them and in the gardens. This approach seems to work well for encouraging diversity but also avoiding the many pests that come with feeding.

Note, I do not enjoy this, nor would I do it otherwise, but I consider it a part of being a good steward of this land to encourage diversity as best I can so to spend a few minutes here or there managing the bird populations is worth it.

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