Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Do we impact neighboring nests when managing for house sparrows on nest-box trails?

Abstract

Nest-box trails designed for Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird) increase viable nesting sites for several native bird species as well as invasive species such as Passer domesticus (House Sparrow). The management technique of egg and nest removal is purported to cause sparrow usurpation at neighboring boxes. We studied the behavior of nesting House Sparrow pairs before, during, and after application of 2 management treatments: egg swapping and nest removal. Video surveillance did not detect House Sparrows visiting neighboring boxes during the management period. After the removal treatment, 42% of the pairs renested in the same nest box. We also tested the hypothesis that nest removal may shift sparrow interference to neighboring boxes spaced on average 170 m apart. In the week after management, 91% of boxes neighboring a managed box proceeded without incident, which was not different from the outcomes of boxes in areas without sparrow competition. We conclude that nest-box failure does not correlate with management technique at this study site.