House sparrows

Hi there everyone I've just become a member of RSPB. I wanted to ask does anyone know about house sparrows. When I put out my feeders last year there were 6 house sparrows & 4 goldfinches that came & stayed at my feeders. There are now over 25 to 30 house sparrows & roughly 16 to 20 goldfinches who feed. Over the last week or so the goldfinches are feeding although not as much throughout the summer but there is no sign of the house sparrows. I'm new to all this so don't know if they would be moulting or if its too late. Just wondering what has happened to them. I live in a town in Northern Ireland. Any help or information will be greatly appreciated thanks 

  • Hi,
    Where do the house sparrows nest? Are they mostly nesting away from your house?
  • Hi, I'm not sure exactly where they nest at night but they're usually in bushes about 3 houses away during the day, don't even see them there. They still came to feed in the summer months though not as frequently, only in last week or so there's no sign of them.
  • Sorry, I meant nest/breed rather than roost. If their preferred sites have suddenly started feeding, which is possible now it's late September, they may be staying nearer to 'home'.
  • I would usually hear & see them daily flying back & forth from bushes to feeders but they're not there. Just strange because they've fed of me all year & goldfinches still there
  • Not strange if their food source(your feeders) were nearest to their territories up until recently, but no longer is now if someone else has started feeding them. I don’t know if that is the case, but it is a realistic possibility. Goldfinches are far more mobile as a species. I get varying sized groups, often just one. Clearly different individuals, not just the same ones visiting each day.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    I don't think anyone around here is feeding them. I guess il just have to wait & see thanks for your reply
  • We have feeders here and two house sparrow nests in the eaves of next doors house, at a distance of 10 & 12 mtrs away from the nearest feeder, some days, and it can often days on the run and usually during sunnier warmer weather, many regular visitors are not to be seen. It may also be they are finding a natural food source, particularly if the weather has been good. Once the weather turns again, they could return knowing it is a guaranteed food source.

    Keep the feeders sensibly supplied with food, and clean to reduce the risk of spreading infection, and it may be worth only keeping the feeders half full during the quiet periods, and once things get busy again, fill them up. The birds will return in seconds once you've gone back in to the house.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Hi Mike & thanks very much for replying. Good news they all appeared this morning at the feeders, briefly but I'm so glad they're OK lol was worried that something had happened to them. I've only been feeding them this last year so as I'm sure you can tell I'm new to all this. Seen them in bushes also just a bit from my house then they flew off. Also could you tell if I need to put up more feeders for the winter for them ? Initially there were 6 house sparrows & 4 goldfinches now there's about 16 to 20 goldfinches & at least 25 to 30 sparrows. I have 3 4 perch feeders & 1 2 perch feeder for njgjer seeds just. What do you think please ?
  • In reply to Millymouse:

    Millymouse said:
    Hi Mike & thanks very much for replying. Good news they all appeared this morning at the feeders, briefly but I'm so glad they're OK lol was worried that something had happened to them. I've only been feeding them this last year so as I'm sure you can tell I'm new to all this. Seen them in bushes also just a bit from my house then they flew off. Also could you tell if I need to put up more feeders for the winter for them ? Initially there were 6 house sparrows & 4 goldfinches now there's about 16 to 20 goldfinches & at least 25 to 30 sparrows. I have 3 4 perch feeders & 1 2 perch feeder for njgjer seeds just. What do you think please ?

    That's good, and reassuring for you.

    There are some occluded fronts over the UK at the moment, which while the weather is generally ok, some areas will have a cloudy and probably wet time this weekend.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Hi Millymouse, welcome from over the water, up at the very top of Scotland, in Caithness. Glad to hear that the birds have started to come back. You will see them come and go at different times in the year. I think whatever amount of feeders you put out, they would use them all, but it means that you would have then to fill them with food, making it more costly. I feed them all year round and have out 1 Niger feeder, 1 sunflower heart feeder, 2 fat ball feeders, 2 seed feeders, 4 peanut feeders, these are in use all the time. I have a fat cake feeder, fat log feeder and a coconut shell that gets filled with peanut butter, I will alternate putting those out.

    Just to mention that it is also important to have fresh water for the birds, to drink and bath in. You can have much enjoyment watching them in the baths, it does not need to be a fancy bird bath, just any type of dish, pan, bowl etc that then can move about in and maybe something smaller somewhere else that they can drink from.

    I hope you enjoy your new hobby, any questions just ask, there will hopefully always be someone at hand to help.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.