Spring is fast approaching and I am looking forward to being able to watch the local birds raise their young in the nest boxes we've provided around the twelve acres. I trapped another starling today and recorded the bird on the graph I created to help me visualize my results. I've trapped 56 European starlings since the beginning of January. The coldest days bring them out in large groups. As they migrate I no doubt will catch many more. Thankfully, my husband Jim is able to help out by shooting at large flocks of them as they pass through our area. Today he managed to get 12 of them. Hooray for our side!
I have not caught any House sparrows since January 21. I don't quite know what to make of this since these birds do not migrate. Should I allow myself to feel victorious in my efforts to eliminate the local population? Perhaps! Even on the very snowy bitter days I only see one or two at the feeders, a huge reduction in the mobs that I used to see back in October. It's so nice to see the native birds at the feeders relaxing and enjoying a meal without any pressure from aggressive HOSPs!
The graphs shows something else I should feel really good about--I've caught many more males than females. Since males are the ones who wreak havoc on Bluebirds, and many other native cavity nesters, it is the male HOSP one should strive to destroy. Without a mate, a female will simply move on without attempting to raise the young on her own. My tally so far is 64 males and 29 females for a total of 93 birds since November 17, 2007. Fantastic!