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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!

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I'm not sure how to get rid of them, but I wish you could send them my way because literally every bird I had this last year has disappeared, and I've nothing left but a few lingering house sparrows :wacko:

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House Sparrows are a big problem.  The bluebird folks work hard to keep them out of nest boxes as they kill nesting birds. There is a lot of help at this website:

http://www.sialis.org/hosp.htm

You can buy House Sparrow traps and offer the birds to a raptor rescue.... Just a thought.

Terry

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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.

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I agree with all you said about "dispatching" the House Sparrows. Fortunately, I am not plagued with them at the moment though I have battled them in previous homes.

If it does become a problem for me, I am going to work hard at finding a raptor recovery center that will take them to use as prey food. 

I would also find and destroy any nest. 

I also would chip in on your project of returning them to the UK. Good luck.

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