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Mr. Ray Hairweave

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About Mr. Ray Hairweave

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  1. Sparrow problems

    Let me add this. I an seriously considering acquiring a trap. A bit of research indicates that a trap can be effective. It attracts all birds but you can reach in and grab and release the "good" birds while accumulating the house sparrows. The problem is, there is no suggestion of what to do with the caught sparrows. Blue Birder kill them (and justifiably so) but I'm not a Blue Birder and don't want to go to that extreme. I don't want to simply relocate them where they will become someone else's problem. I have contacted wildlife rehab centers, to see if they would take them as prey for their raptors. Seems like a good solution but I haven't heard back from any of them.
  2. Sparrow problems

    House Sparrows were put on earth by God, to make life for backyard birders a bit more challenging. (Yes, of course I realize they were introduce to North America by Man, but I think it was all part of God’s plan.) There may be no solution to the problem. I too have been infested with them, and I have simply stopped putting out seed until I find a solution. And NONE of the suggested solutions works. Try safflower… they devour it. Stripped sunflower seeds .. they love that too. Upside down feeders … they adapt. And many more suggestions, all failures. One promising approach is the Magic Halo. Problem is, nobody sells them anymore. So I crafted one, and it worked. For a day or so, until it fell apart. Sparrows flew to it and veered away, while all other birds ignored it. However, I suspect that if I am able to keep one up long enough, they will adapt. But I am going to keep trying to fashion one that will hold up. I’ll try to report back. One thing I notice… I have a window feeder, and I have never seen a sparrow on it. Don’t know why. But then, how many window feeders can you put up?
  3. House Sparrows

    Thanks Terry. Yesterday I hand crafted several prototype magic halos and hung them over several feeders. They actually worked, at least during the afternoon and this morning. I actually witnessed several house sparrows approach a feeder and then veer away while other birds fed happily. I have heard, though, that these things work only temporarily and eventually the house sparrows ignore them too. We'll see. If this really works then I'll try to buy some commercially (the ones I crafted are really ugly). But if they don't work long term, the next step will be to get a trap. I've tried everything else. I'm just not clear about what to do with the trapped birds. I don't want to just relocate them to become someone else's problem. I don't really want to kill them. What would really be a cool idea is if everyone could bring their trapped house sparrows to a collection center and then fly them by planeload to the UK, where they belong, and where everyone seems to love them.
  4. Favorite Bird

    My favorites: Wren (Carolina and Pacific), Black and White Warbler, Junco (dark-eyed), WallCreeper
  5. House Sparrows

    Hi all - first post here. I'm in Silver Spring, Maryland, formerly in Takoma Park, and have been feeding birds in both places for over 30 years. It's only been in the past several years that the problem of House Sparrows has become intolerable for me. They completely dominate my feeders (I have more than 12) to the exclusion of other birds. The only exception is my upside down thistle feeder (that attracts goldfinches), and they are even learning to deal with that one! I've tried all sorts of different feeders to no avail. I use safflower seeds in several feeders (they do repel squirrels) because I was told that the House Sparrows don't eat safflower, and it simply is not true, they gobble it up eagerly. I also have big problems with Starlings, but I can deal with that - just withhold food for a few days and they go away for at least a couple weeks - the House Sparrows stay around no matter how long I withhold food. I've reached the point where I no longer bother to fill the feeders just to see $50 worth of seed gobbled up in a few days by the House Sparrows. So I'm looking for any suggestions or ideas how to deal with them. Thanks!