Waxwing Wednesday


Taken March 26, 2011, during a spring snowstorm in Calgary.

Bob Lefebvre


3 thoughts on “Waxwing Wednesday

  1. I have a chickadee question….. we put up a chickadee house last spring and very quickly a pair of chickadees move in. Within a couple of weeks sparrows began to congregate around the birdhouse and although they couldn’t get in the were constantly trying. The chickadees would be calling and trying to drive the sparrows away but soon it seemed like they gave up and we didn’t see them again. I know I should leave nature alone….but is there anything I can do to discourage the sparrows?

    Thanks for your help.

    • There are a couple of things you can try. The most important is the size of the hole in the birdhouse. For chickadees it should be 1 and 1/8 inches – any bigger and the sparrows can get in. You said they couldn’t get in but were trying. The other thing is to remove the perch if there is one. Birds of the proper size don’t need a perch to get in a nest box, and if you leave it on, larger birds will have a place from which to harass the nesters. I have a nest box in which Black-capped Chickadees have successfully nested for three straight years, despite the dozens of House Sparrows around. There is more you can do regarding box placement and food supply. If you are interested, please post a follow-up question.

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