Sparrows in exposed south faxing nesbox

H, I messed up and placed some housemartin next boxes 10-12m up on a very exposed south-facing wall. Yesterday a pair of house sparrows appear to have moved in, do these have any hope of having a successful brood in a south-facing box in the current hot weather?

I'll move the boxes in autumn, kicking myself for not thinking about the direction, I just placed them on a wall that the housemartins nested on last year to try and help them out (nest with eggs dried out and fell down last year).


  • Re the current situation, sparrows are struggling to breed here this year. Heat and lack of rain could be factors. The only nest with chicks in are in dense hedge. Think you will need a change in weather for sparrow nestlings to survive south facing.

    However..........sparrows regularly take over martin nests. Much of the time, they then don't bother to breed in them. Don't be surprised if they muck about for a few days then not bother.

    In addition, sparrows also bring down natural martin nests. If you had sparrows last year, I would suggest that is what happened.

    Once there is conflict, I have found it very difficult/impossible to stop it. I tried feeding back negatively re encouraging people to get Martin and swift nests where sparrows occur, but got nowhere. Wherever you site the artificial nest, don't be surprised if you again end up with sparrows.

  • Thanks Robbo, thankfully the housemartins appear to be doing pretty well on the estate in general despite the sparrows. I did notice a nest on a neighbours house with a big hole missing from it though which I'm guessing might be the sparrows doing.

    I was hoping to give the martins a hand but I'd be happy enough if the sparrows manage a successful brood, even better if my artificial nests take some of the sparrow pressure off the natural martin nests in the neighbourhood.

    The sparrows are still in the nests at the moment but I haven't seen them taking any nest materials in yet so maybe they are just mucking around as you say.
  • No problem. The only other thing I didn't mention previously is that one of the recommendations to reduce conflict is to provide more nest sites. The reality from that, I found, is more sparrows and therefore more pressure in subsequent years. Having said that, as above, sparrows are struggling here this year so far. Maybe there isn't any habitat room for their current high numbers. I don't know, but I am hoping I may not have lost my martins just yet.