For years I’ve been interested in birds, but never got around to doing much about it.
I grew up in northern Wisconsin, waking up each morning to the sounds of robins, chickadees, jays, and many others. Living out in the country surrounded by forest was a bird paradise.
Here in Utah, even though we live in the city, our back yard is a high-traffic area for a large amount of birds—and we don’t even have bird feeders up! Every day our yard is visited by house sparrows, robins, magpies, starlings, mourning doves, and others that I don’t know the names of (yet). We even get the occasional mallard duck.
There’s a problem, though: the back of our house has this slanting patio roof that is irresistible to house sparrows.
The house sparrow…they look so cute and harmless, don’t they?
They build their grass-and-twig nests in every crack of the underside of that roof. It’s SO annoying. Not only do they leave messes all over the concrete and swingset and everything else, but far worse—the nests are too precarious and their babies fall out and die. We see at least 3-4 dead baby birds every summer…very sad.
Clearing out the nests doesn’t work. Those birds are so industrious that there are new ones by the next morning. John finally found something that worked last year, though, for several months: he put some natural powder stuff up inside the eaves that’s supposed to be so potent with herbal smells that it keeps cats and dogs off your lawn. The birds left after a couple of weeks and though they still hung around the yard, the nests didn’t come back until this month.
However, last week we discovered a whole new annoyance. When John went to open his grill in preparation for a family party last Saturday, he found it filled with a massive nest!
He was angry, cleaned it all out, and scrubbed everything. This was on a Friday.
The next morning he opened his grill and it was filled AGAIN with a nest!
The whole cleaning process began again. This time, after the family party ended, he cut some cardboard and put them over the vent holes. We thought this was the end of the sparrow grill problem.
Last night (only one week later) we wanted to grill some stuff for dinner. When John opened his grill, this is what he found:
ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! This was definitely a pull-out-your-hair moment.
Something’s got to be done, but I don’t know what. We need to make the sparrows leave, once and for all. They are so cute but so annoying! (I wonder when people will ever learn…it seems that most “introduced",” non-native species cause problems. House sparrows are no exception.)
Tomorrow I’ll write more about birds, but for now, if you have an idea on how to get rid of pesky sparrows, leave me a comment and I will be grateful.