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Sparrows destroying fruit trees

mattpf (zone4)
December 2, 2018

Hey guys noticed about 50-60 sparrows in a flock pecking the buds off my fruit trees . Around the apricot tree there is thousands of buds on the ground and not much left for flowering next year.

Any fun fun ways to get rid of these little buggers without using a pellet gun . I got rid of my dogs so now all sorts of birds come to my yard as it’s the only heavily treed yard in the community .

Comments (11)

  • nichols167

    Sorry to hear about your apricots. As if our winters aren't bad enough. Try putting up an inflatable scare eye or one of those fake plastic owls.

  • Bill_minn_3b {West Central MN}

    Bird netting is always an option.

    Probably too late now....

  • wayne

    The birds won't be sparrows, probably grosbeaks of one variety or another. Could also be Waxwings.

  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH

    Mylar ribbons or pinwheels in the branches. It worked to protect my tomatoes last summer.

  • mattpf (zone4)

    I’m pretty sure they are sparrows we have tons in Calgary .

    netting is not an option now the trees are to large and to much work. I hung ribbons going to get a decoy owl or hawk put it right near the apricot tree they are ravaging. They are eating the buds like they are seeds ? I thought prunus species of plants contain cyanide

  • ubro

    Geez, I thought the buds would be too small yet for the birds to bother. Yet another winter problem. I wonder if sometimes it is not always the freezing temps that get our fruit blossoms, but birds. When the cedar waxwings come thru here in the spring I watch them eat the white blossoms off my apple, they love the petals.

    I hope your apricots are going to get some fruit, those pictures keep me tending my small specimens dreaming of future possibilities.

  • Cody Zone 3 Beaumont, AB

    hmm, i've been admiring those little birds hanging out in my cherry bushes these last few weeks. I thought they were eating leftover bits of cherries that remained on the bushes, but it sounds like I should be watching more closely.

  • mattpf (zone4)

    I had an older lady move in next door who feeds the birds. I now have about 100 sparrows in my yard at any given time. I had nice blue coloured swallows in a nest box in my front yard for the last few years they always returned but last year they killed the bluebirds and kicked them out of the box. There was still a portion of the bluebird family that would sit on a post infront of my house sadly . I hope this year I figure a way to keep them out of the box and my blue swallows return as they have for half a decade.

  • wayne

    Yes the invasive house sparrow will kill blue birds and tree swallows, they will overpower them inside the nest box. Outside the box the blue birds and tree swallows can hold their own. You can trap and kill house sparrows as they are an invasive species, dido for starlings. But you must correctly identify your birds.

  • wayne

    If house sparrows decide that they are going to nest in your boxes you have NO other options than to kill them or take your houses down, these species are close to the same size so changing the opening size will not help. One thing that "may" work is to hang a piece of wood down from the roof over hang, blue birds can still get in. Both blue birds and tree swallows have site fidality and will return to a box that they have successfully nested before.

  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH

    But most sparrows are illegal to harass or kill since they are native. Sso be sure if you decide to go that route to do a careful ID and be sure that they actually are house sparrows, which are an introduced species and therefore not protected vs. another type of sparrow which is native.

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