What Size Hole in a Birdhouse Would Allow House Sparrows to Enter?

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House sparrows require a 1.5-inch opening and a perch to gain access to a birdhouse. House sparrows are a species native to Europe and were introduced to most of the rest of the world. Prevalent throughout North America, the house sparrow is typically associated with areas of human disturbance and is a fixture at bird feeders. Their presence can be damaging to native species, so care should be taken when encouraging their numbers with food or homes in areas in which they are introduced and not native.

Opening Size

  • A house sparrow is a small sparrow with a somewhat wide body. They require birdhouse openings to be at least 1.5 inches in diameter to gain entry. In most areas their most common predator is the house cat and, as such, not as much care must be taken to make the opening as small as possible as with other birds that are more vulnerable, so long as the house is raised off the ground.

Perch

  • House sparrows, unlike chickadees and nuthatches, require a perch to gain access to a birdhouse. Construct a small perch out of a piece of dowel or metal tubing, and secure it by drilling a hole in your birdhouse front slightly smaller than the dowel or tubing. Secure the dowel by pressing it through the hole until it is securely held by the birdhouse front.

Wood Type

  • When building houses for chickadees and nuthatches, care should be taken to construct the front panel with the opening out of soft wood that is easily enlarged by the birds if need be. Sparrows typically do not do this, thus the front panel can be constructed of harder wood to prevent rodents or other pests from gaining access to the nesting site.

Location

  • Place your birdhouse at least 6 feet off the ground to ensure any nests built in it will be safely out of harm's way. Do not locate your house too close to birdbaths or bird feeders as it may make the site too busy to make your sparrows feel safe. Placing your house behind a bush or in a tree can help ensure your new residents feel secure.

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References

  • Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
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