I've had a few requests lately for an update on my attempts to keep House Sparrows (HOSPs) away from my bird feeders.
I started my experiment about six months ago. See: http://bird-bs.blogspot.com/2010/01/keeping-house-sparrows-away-from-bird.html for my last update.
I'm satisfiled with the results so far. And I'm really happy with the following bird feeders:
1. This feeder from Wild Birds Unlimited has horizontal perches, but they can be flipped up. I tie the perches up with garbage bag twisty ties, just in case an enterprising HOSP might figure out how to flip the perches down. With the perches flipped up, birds must cling to a metal cage to get at the feeding ports. I fill this one with sunflower hearts and/or chips. http://tinyurl.com/y87zpy8
2. This Duncraft feeder has no horizontal perches. It's a wire cage surrounding a tubular mesh core. I fill this one with a woodpecker feed mix (shelled peanuts, sunflower kernels, corn, pecans, pistachios, shelled pumpkin seed, and dried cherries). It's a popular feeder!!! But no HOSPs. http://tinyurl.com/yewynl8
Finally, both of the above feeders have the advantage of being squirrel proof. And racoon proof! I watched a racoon alternately try to get at the woodpecker feed mix and sunflower hearts one of the first nights I had the feeders up. He left twenty minutes later, looking very frustrated.