By David Rahbany
In spite of the recent snows, spring has arrived in Lyons! One clear sign is the return of colorful bluebirds and finches to our town. Unfortunately, these birds are under threat from some nasty neighbors.
House sparrows and starlings are non-native, invasive species that kill and out-compete native birds like the Mountain Bluebird. Please help keep native songbirds coming back to Lyons by
discouraging the feeding and nesting of house sparrows.
Here are some dos and don’ts for those interested in keeping house sparrows and starlings at bay:
DON’T: Leave bread or other food outside to feed birds. This almost exclusively attracts house sparrows, starlings and crows.
DO: Use feeders that serve Nyger or black sunflower seeds. These feeders have small screens and attract red finches and american goldfinches, both native songbirds. bluebirds eat insects and will likely respond well to an offering of mealworms available at most pet stores.
DON’T: Use bird feeders or bird seed that contain millet or corn. These foods attract and encourage the presence of house sparrows and starlings. this one step will have a big impact on the presence of nuisance birds.
DO: Check your bird houses (if you have them) at least weekly to ensure no house sparrows have nested there.
DON’T: Install bird houses that you’re not willing to check frequently to eliminate house sparrow nests and eggs.