Last summer we first noticed house sparrows landing on our hummingbird feeders. We found it funny how they liked sugar water … until this spring. This year the sparrows began dominating the feeders, bullying the hummingbirds, chasing them away until they left the area. So, the question was, what could we do about it?
The best clue came from an article prepared at the University of Nebraska (1). They had discovered that house sparrows sometimes gang up to take control of birdseed feeders. After a little research they also found that house sparrows are afraid to fly between vertical wires. So, their solution was to suspend a circular wire “halo” above a birdseed feeder with wires dangling from it, and badda-bing, the feeder became sparrow free.
So, I borrowed from Nebraska’s research and designed a “halo” for my hummingbird feeders. However, instead of using wires I suspended four fishing lines around the feeder and by golly it works! Our house sparrow problem was solved.
- Hummingbird feeder
- Hummingbird feeder ant moat (shown here)
- CD’s (one per feeder)
- Weather resistant glue
- Monofilament fishing line (I used 8lb. test line but I doubt it matters)
- Lead split shot fishing weights (8 per feeder)
To begin, drill four 1/4” holes at the very edge of the CD as shown below
Oh yes, one last thing. Hummers are returning to our feeders and they don’t seem the least bit concerned about the halos.
Yup. I'm smarter than your average sparrow!
(1) University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec1783.pdf