Friday, April 9, 2010

Turf Wars

The other day I watched with interest as a pair of bluebirds made an attempt to roust a pair of house sparrows from a bird house mounted on the side of our shed. I was conflicted in who I was backing.
The house sparrows have been living there since we installed it last summer. Yet I would love to have a pair of bluebirds to watch. The bluebirds ran the sparrows out and seized the house.
The sparrows went only a few feet to the lilac bush. Where they proceeded to voice their objections very loudly and without end. 

I suppose seeing the new nesting materials being installed outraged them enough where they got up sufficient gumption to take on the bluebirds.
At least the two males were actively going at it. Chasing each other away from the house. The battle ensued for several hours with each pair taking turns occupying the house for only a few minutes.

The females on the other hand seemed to sit back dumbfounded and patiently wait for some sign as to whether they were moving in or moving out.

Each of them taking turns possessing the perch on the house.

At last, the sparrows won. Perhaps possession really is nine tenths of the law. I was sad to see the bluebirds go. Now there's only one thing left for my husband to more bird houses!


  1. You can give the bluebirds an advantage by getting rid of the perch. They dive into the hole with wings back, whereas the sparrows like to alight. I learned that at an MG class a coupla years ago. Here's a fact sheet:

  2. Also, by law because they are not a native species, you are allowed to remove the House Sparrows nesting material. This may take several days but hopefully the HOSP will eventually give up and move on.