October 19

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Sparrow Spooker – the Best Bluebird House Predator Guard


The Sparrow Spooker Keeps the House Sparrow Out of the Bluebird House 

The use of the Sparrow Spooker is an absolute MUST DO.   If you chose nothing else in your fight against Bluebird predators, we at AllThingsBluebirds strongly suggest that you use the Sparrow Spooker.  Our journey together down the path of AllThingsBluebirds has led to the fact, and now the knowledge that the House Sparrow (the HOSP for short) is a real and the number one threat to Bluebirds. Take a look at the blog about “Keeping Sparrows out of Bluebird Houses” for a little reminder of the seriousness of these Bluebird predators. Hopefully, you are sitting down, relaxing and enjoying your own live and personal Bluebird view as you read this blog (also known as the BlueBlog), because I am about to remind us all of the cruel and hard fact that ………….are you ready?………..sorry for being so blunt, but………….House Sparrows are killing Bluebirds.  Ouch!  I am sorry for that rough and tough “punch in the gut” type reality check. But, it’s true. Let’s just settle from that thought for a moment, take a deep breath, log that thought, but don’t forget it, because that is what is going to drive us to make a big, big difference in keeping Sparrows out of the Bluebird house.  

Thank You to the Best Bluebird House Predator Guard – the Sparrow Spooker

The Sparrow Spooker.  Yes, that is the commonly used name used to describe the “gadget,” if you will, that everyone of us Bluebird enjoyers MUST, MUST, MUST (yes, that’s three “MUSTs,” all in CAPS, which have to be used to emphasize here), include in our Bluebird watching and caring routines in order to discourage, and in many, many cases keep Sparrows out of the Bluebird house and to keep the HOSP from interfering with the Bluebird laying eggs, hatching and fledging.  And, what a “catchy” name!  I think it says it all in its name.  It spooks or scares or frightens or terrifies or shocks or whatever the verb is to best describe that it chases the HOSP away from the Bluebird’s nest box.  It discourages the HOSP from landing on or entering the Bluebird nest box during the egg laying, hatching and fledging part of the season. 

And, let’s give credit where credit is due for a couple of things.  Number one, but probably not the most important, the name, “Sparrow Spooker.”  How cool is that, huh?  Clever, right to the point and “catchy.”  I don’t know the origin of the name, or who named it, or how long it’s been in use or any details around the name, but I sure do like it.   And, by the end of this  BlueBlog, you’ll get to know it much better and come to like it as much as I do, and as much as the numerous Bluebird enjoyers using such devices to keep their Bluebirds safe from the House Sparrow.  In fact, the objective is to have you and all of us understand and appreciate the necessity of this little device and how well this Bluebird house predator guard works.

And, secondly, and most importantly, let’s give credit to those Bluebird enjoyers who have watched and enjoyed Bluebirds well before us.  Let’s give credit to those who have studied the relentless battle between House Sparrows and Bluebirds and have witnessed the devastating results to Bluebirds. And give credit to those wise enough and proactive enough to actually came up with this SIMPLE but extremely EFFECTIVE method of controlling the House Sparrow.  So “hats off” to its originator or originators, well done and Thank You.

So, We’re All On the Edge or Our Seats, How Does this Sparrow Spooker Thing Work?

Well, there are a whole variety of looks and make ups, but they all have a few things in common that make them an effective Bluebird house predator guard.  The fundamental and common ingredient is that a Sparrow Spooker is an “add on” gadget, contraption or let’s just say device that is placed and attached above the roof of a Bluebird nest box.  And,…pay attention here……..this is a really important point…..the Sparrow Spooker is only used during the egg laying, hatching and fledging stages of the Bluebird season.  In other words, it gets installed immediately after the Bluebird has laid its first egg and it gets removed immediately after the fledglings have left the nest.  More on that later.  Back to what it is.  It is a “multi-fingered” device that has quite a few loose hanging straps of material that hang down from the “fingers” towards and slightly brushing the roof of the Bluebird nest box.  The loose hanging straps of shiny, reflective material (Mylar as you may know it, the same material that the shiny helium party balloons are made of)  that wave in the wind and are distracting enough to the House Sparrow that it keeps them out of the Bluebird house.  It scares them, basically spooks them from approaching or staying at the Bluebird nest box.  Imagine that!  Awesome, YES!  Effective, EXTREMELY! (notice the use of more CAPS and exclamation points, and that’s because it works!).  And, for some unknown reason, at least unknown to me at the moment, the Bluebirds just don’t seem to mind the Sparrow Spooker and they just go about their birdie business and maybe they are even wondering why the HOSP is no longer bothering them at that particular moment.

Still on the Edge of our Seats, So What Does this Bluebird House Predator Guard Sparrow Spooker Thing Look Like?

These Sparrow Spookers aren’t exactly the prettiest of contraptions.  And for starters, the lead-in photo for this very BlueBlog you are reading gets you a very good look at one.  Use this lead-in photo for reference and also go take a look here (But, come right back quickly and finish the BlueBlog, for the sake and safety of our Bluebirds!) .  They are not exactly an award winning addition for style.  If there was a reality TV show for Bluebird nest box home improvement, you wouldn’t exactly be seeing a lot of Bluebird families adding these things onto their nest boxes and thanking the Bluebird property brothers for their awesome work.  The look is not exactly the striking image you wanted to go for when you look out into your yard and you want to see that perfect magazine image of a Bluebird nest box mounted on the pole. Your neighbors are definitely going to say “what is that on your Bird house!?”   Of course, they’ll call it a “bird house,” and you’ll be silently thinking to yourself….”insert mental neighbor correction HERE,” but, you’ll just quietly remind yourself  that it is NOT a Bluebird house, it is actually a Bluebird nest box, as I so learned on that great website we all have come to know as AllThingsBluebirds.  But, “to-may-to”or  “to-mah-to,” “Bluebird nest box or Bluebird house,” even I’ve used them interchangeably in this blog, and we all understand the intent. And, anyhow…back to the MAIN point, these Sparrow Spookers are so effective that you will very quickly learn to see past it and recognize the value they add for their ability to thwart…..

(as the BlueBlogger, I’ll take any opportunity I can get to sprinkle in the word “thwart!”  Who gets to use the word “thwart” on a daily basis?  Me? Not usually. It’s an odd one, but let’s go with it.)

the House Sparrow that kills Bluebirds.  “Ouch,”  you must be thinking, “there he goes again, talking about “you know what killing you know who.”  Can’t he just move on?  We were having such a nice conversation about what a Sparrow Spooker looks like and how well it works and now he has to go back to that bad stuff, that bad, bad image.  Remember a few paragraphs back? I said to log that thought, but not forget it?  Well, the Sparrow Spooker will quite remarkably help prevent the HOSP from attacking Bluebirds, their eggs and young birds, and therefore remove that image from our brains.  Anyhow, back to the good stuff….And the beauty is, these Sparrow Spookers are easily installed for just the very critical part of the season and they are taken down just as quickly, when the fledglings do what they do, and that is when they FLEDGE. So just to summarize, the Sparrow Spooker gets installed immediately after the Bluebird lays its first egg and it gets removed immediately after fledging.  The timing of the removal is important because it will help prevent the House Sparrow from becoming used to its presence. It is super simple to install and remove.

So How do I get one of these Sparrow Spookers?

Well by now, I can only imagine that you’ve already clicked over to Amazon to search. I don’t blame you, I did also.  Hey, we live in an Amazon world and I get it, just buy and install and done.  But, what did you find?  Not so easy on Amazon was it? So, since we share a common problem, we at AllThingsBluebirds  have  designed an extremely simple and what should be a “one size Sparrow Spooker – fits all Bluebird Houses.”  A Sparrow Spooker that you can make yourself, hey what fun!  Actually, it’s quite simple when you follow our easy to do instructions which you can find in our next Bluebird blog (a.k.a. Blueblog).  Go take a look!

The Final Word on Keeping House Sparrows Out of a Bluebird House

I highly encourage you to make this Sparrow Spooker, install it, use it, watch it work its magic, remove it and repeat.  Okay, that’s more than a “final word,” that’s a few words. My apologies.  So, the final, final word ……….“Boo!”

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