House sparrow advice

I have a chickadee/wren nestbox with a 1 1/8" hole guard on it and up until yesterday had a pair of happy chickadees building. Well, surprise surprise, one of the local house sparrows somehow managed to squeeze himself in there (i saw him coming out) and has now apparantly decided that this is now HIS territory and has been posted up on it since, screaming his little invasive head off.

I’m less than impressed. I’ve been content to ignore the sparrows but messing with my chickadees is the last straw - I’m currently waiting outside to see if i can catch him trying ro go into the box again so i can trap him (no luck so far)

But regardless - any advice? Has anyone seen one manage to get into a hole that small before? I’m honestly struggling to see how he even managed to fit.


If the sparrow is roosting in the box at night, you can try to walk quietly up to the box in the late evening, and when close enough quickly place an insect net over the entrance. You may need to shake or tap on the box, or start to open it, to get the sparrow to flush out into the net.


Genius. I’m going to go try right now

Update: he is not, in fact, roosting in the box. Tbh i think he almost got stuck and is reluctant to go in - which makes sense given the hole size - but i dont think he realizes that its going to be impossible to enlarge a metal hole, so he still defending it like its his territory


The upside of this is that he will at least be defending a non-productive territory and not helping create a sparrow brood elsewhere. Though that doesn’t help the chickadees…

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Yeah ;_;

I took it down for now, i did catch him going in again - i need to reduce the hole even more…

First off urban/suburban and agriculture environments are simply going to have more House Sparrows regardless.

There are nest boxes that have a reputation for being less desirable by House Sparrows though. I’ve used all of these and had a reasonable success rate. Of the three bird house sites I have that have House Sparrow problems, I’d 2/3rds of the time they don’t use these: Never had HOSP do more than check these. Had bluebirds but not chickadees. These two the HOSP usually leave alone, but I have pulled out nests. Had bluebirds but not chickadees. Only have had one HOSP use these before. Chickadees love them, and have had bluebirds. Only complaint I have about these is they are not the most sturdy design.

What I would do is set up a couple of these boxes, and then put out a regular box with a 1.5" hole equipped with a van ert Bear in mind, only use traps on days that you can check the box frequently. And please do not release HOSP into parks or forest preserves.


Usually this is for big flocks, but you could try calling your local falconer’s association to see if someone wants to exercise their bird and scare off invasives for you

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Thank you for the advice! I might end up picking up some of those traps, I ended up ordering a 1" hole reducer to see if that will help (though it might keep out the smaller birds too? IDK) - I don’t think my chickadees are coming back this year though, they’ve probably moved on by now.

The house sparrows around here are just brutal - its just too residential and they’re everywhere.

I don’t think chickadees can use a 1" hole. Those are typically House Wren only. Of course, usually House Sparrows can’t access a 1 1/8" hole, so my be worth a try.

Basiclly my thinking. I wouldn’t even mind just house wrens - i just want to keep the sparrows out