Repeating sparrow trap


Anybody that begins the quest of starting a Purple Martin colony quickly learns that two major problems almostimmediately surface. One is the European Starling. The other is theEnglish House Sparrow.

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By now, anybody that has taken the time toeducate themselves about purple martins & wants lớn start a colony knows about the wealthy New Yorker named Eugene Schieffelin, whoin the late 1800"s, imported và then turned loose all the birds that were inthe Shakespearian plays. Well, needless khổng lồ say, it wasn"t the smartest ofthings khổng lồ do, but back then, we weren"t so aware of the "politically correct" things khổng lồ do.Out of all the birds that he brought over, the only two species lớn survive werethe European Starling & the English House Sparrow. Both of these arecavity nesting species và have literally taken over every possible naturalopening where our own native wild cavity nesting birds would normallynest. & of course, when we humans put up housing for purple martins,they immediately usurp the house and a nesting cavity and of course, defend itwith their lives.

Itis now an all out war between the purple martin landlord và the seemingly neverending hoards of these pests that continually come. As a good many know,the S&S is a popular trap, however, being on the larger side, it hastroubles actuating quick enough to lớn capture the sparrows.

So, with this in mind, I decided to vì a little investigating on the trap & see what I could bởi to make it just a little quicker.

Thefirst thing I decided to do was downsize it lớn specifically fit thesparrow. If the larger one was too slow, what could be done khổng lồ make themechanism a little faster so we could catch some of the sparrows that are plaguing everyone.What I"ve done is make the trap "specific specific". In other words, I made it khổng lồ trapsparrows & not starlings. I made the access hole 1 1/2" in diameterand that means all the birds that normally look for holes of that kích cỡ will fitin it, including the sparrow. However, I wanted to vày one more thing with it. I wanted tobe able to place it directly in the middle of a martin colony without theworry of catching a martin. The 1 1/2" hole should accomplishes this.Most of the time, when the martins get back in numbers, the rest of the birdswill leave. But the sparrow is a very tenacious bird và will take upresidence right in the middle of a martin colony without fear. Sparrowsare actually a thành viên of the Weaver Finch family and because ofthe way they build their nests, (filling the compartments with materials tooverflowing), themartins won"t even enter the compartments, therefore; they get away with it andare not bothered by the martins. However, they in turn won"t show the samerespect for the martins. They"ll vindictively go from compartment khổng lồ compartment, pinning(pecking holes in) the eggs & even killing the young. This is one of thereasons these birds have to be trapped và destroyed.

So,within the following page, I"ll try khổng lồ show và describe what can be done to make asmaller version of the S&S trap, make it specifically for the sparrows andthen put it right in the middle of your colony. Now, that"s not sayingthat it has lớn go there, but that"s just one of the options. It can justas easily be hung under the eaves of a building or on a stand alone pole orwhere ever you want khổng lồ put it.

Let me also add, this trap works best during the nesting season, when these little vermin are out looking for a place khổng lồ nest. That"s not to say it won"t work at other times, but since it is designed to act like a good cavity khổng lồ nest in, then that"s when it works best.

Let me also say one other thing. This (or any other trap for that matter) should be checked daily. Every once in awhile, other cavity nesting birds will get in it & they need lớn be released unharmed as quickly as possible.


1-sheet of 1/2" exterior plywood or one 10 foot long Western Cedar board.

2-dozen 1 5/8" long treated bugle head decking screws

1-gallon Mayo or Miracle Whip jug. (Plastic).

2-small 1 1/2" hinges

2-very small diameter nails. I used small finish nails

1-small piece of .040" thick aluminum, about 10" square should suffice

4-very small washers

3-#6 x 1/2" long sheet metal screws

2-sq ft of 1" x 1/2" welded wire screen

1-dozen short roofing nails

1-stick (piece) of 4" diameter thin wall PVC tubing (8 feet long)

1-can of black spray paint(If you want the tubing khổng lồ be black)

1-empty 35 milimet film canister w/cover

1-small box of BB"s, yes the kind that go in BB guns

1-2" long piece of 1/4" all thread, another flat washer và wing nut

2-feet of small diameter flexible wire. (small electric fence wire worksgood).

Tools required:

- drill motor with a good selection of drillbits

- a 1 1/2" hole saw

- jigsaw with wood cutting blade (scroll blade)

-pair of tin snips to cut the aluminum

-metal file

-pair of wire cutting pliers

- pair of good needle nose pliers

- hammer

- screw drivers (I use a Phillipsdrive inserted in my drill. Much easier và faster).

Before we begin making your trap, we needto assume a couple of things.

One, that the maker has basic wood workingtools and knows how khổng lồ use them.

Two, that the maker understands a littleabout working with wood.

Three, that by looking at a picture, theviewer understands what is being said or shown.

And four, the maker can follow written instructions.

So, with that said, let"s build a sparrowtrap.

The Frame:

First, you need tofind the material you want to lớn make it from. 1/2" thick exteriorplywood will work good (If plywood is used, predrilled holes must be usedin any edge screwing). I like to use Western Cedar because it"s readilyavailable lớn me, it"s light, very easy to lớn work with and it will last a long timeout in the elements. Trắng pine will also work if treated & then paintedproperly.

The first thing to vì chưng is make the trapframe. The outside dimensions are 18" long, 10" high & 51/2" wide. If you get 11" wide cedar or pine, this can be made bycutting the board right down the middle. (The 5 1/2" is plenty forsparrows). I added a couple of"foot" boards, one under each kết thúc because later in the design, a wingnut will be under the assembly & these feet will let it phối flat on the table.

When done, your frame should look lượt thích the one below


The jug:


Since yourtrap body is only 5 1/2" wide, the jugrequired lớn fit in this trap has to lớn be as close khổng lồ between 5 1/8" and5 1/4" long as you can get it. I used my table saw to lớn cut mine because it"s accurate, butyou can use a good sharp pair of scissors or even a Dremel tool with a cuttingblade on it.. Mark it very accurately first and then follow the lines closely.


Obviously, not everybody has table saws,so here"s a simple way of marking a round jug...

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Stack a couple pieces of wood on a flatsurface to size the desired height you want. Now, lay a "Sharpie" pen onits side on this stack of boards & with the jug standing up, slide the jug upto the pen. Now twist the jug và as you turn the jug, this leaves you with a nice levelline on your jug. Repeat for the second line at 5 1/4". Now you should have a tube that is nice & even...and square.

As you"ll no doubt notice, some of the jugs look different. I found that if I left the neck (top) of the jug on, it gave it more rigidity & held it"s size better. It also worked just fine lớn snag the sparrows. When you get khổng lồ drilling the front hole lớn the trap, simply use whatever jug style you decide on.

Next, let"s build the counterbalancemechanism.


The secret lớn quick actuation is the lightness of the materials used lớn make the counter balance. The board required is 12" long, 1 1/4" wide & approx 3/8" thick. Whatever you use, this piece ofwood has to lớn be very light. White pine will work, but plywood is not a goodmaterial lớn use here. It"s just too heavy. If you have to, turn a 1 1/4" piece on edge and run it thru your table saw (if you have one) và this will give you the 3/8" thickness you need. On one end và along the centerline of the board, pre-drill2, 1/16" diameter holes, 1 inch apart starting 1/2" from the over of the board. These will be used lớn mount your jug. On the other end, pre-drill 1more 1/16" diameter hole tohold your counter balance weight. (Film canister).

Mount the jug

At the center point of your jug, mark and drill twoclearance holes, 1/8" in diameter và 1" apart. Using 2 #6x 1/2" long (or 3/8" long if you can find them) Phillips head wood screws, carefully screw the jug in place as shown. A stubby screw driver works wonders here.

Now in the center of the bottom of your film canister, drillanother 1/8" clearance hole. Take the cap off và using a #6 screw, screw it in place as shown. This becomes the "weighted end" of your "teeter totter".


Now, 4 inches from the "weighted" end, drive two small nails into the side of the board atthe 4" mark as shown. Leave them sticking out about 1/4".If you use nails that have heads on them, snip them off with a pair of wiredykes. I used very small finish nails, they have very small heads and workvery good. Make sure they are directly opposite each other, forming a straight line betweenthem.


To make the pivot bracket, first cut apiece of aluminum, 2" wide x 6" long. It has khổng lồ be bent lớn theshape as shown above. The distance between the two side arms is 13/8" if you cut a piece of wood 1 3/8" wide, the aluminum can befolded down over it giving you the required inside dimension. This piecedoesn"t have to lớn be super strong. It"s the vertical sides that create thestrength in the piece and for this purpose, it will bởi just fine. Next, markand drill 2 holes just barely larger than the nails, 1 1/2" up from the bottom và in thecenter of each bracket arm. Be very accurate otherwise the pivot arm will be "skewed" in the trap. Then using your tin snips, cut the alum lớn the approxshape as shown above. Tệp tin or sand away any burrs and sharp edges.

Finally drill a single 5/16" diameter holein the bottom center of the bracket. This hole will be used khổng lồ attach thebalance mechanism lớn your trap so do it accurately.


Now you know why the need for the "foot boards". You can now mix the box on the bench và the foot boards hold it up off the wing nut.

I made a couple of these traps & insome, I painted the jugs black so that it wouldgive the illusion of a dark interior. I know sparrows don"t care aboutshiny surfaces, but just in case, I left a few that were unpainted và shiny just tosee if it did matter. !


Now, let"s add the front door.


First cut the door from one piece of wood,big enough to lớn cover the entire front of the frame. (Should be 18" x10"). Before drilling anyholes in the front door, measure down from the top of the frame to the very vị trí cao nhất ofthe opening of the jug. This will be the same dimension for the top of your hole in yourfront door. Now địa chỉ another 3/4" to lớn get the center of your 11/2" hole.

Example: Mine measured 1 1/2" +3/4" = 2 1/4" from the đứng đầu of the door down lớn the center of my 11/2" hole.

Also measure horizontally from the kết thúc of the box to the"center" of the jug so that you have both dimensions to lớn locate thehole.Now you can drill your 1 1/2" hole in your front door.

Once the hole is drilled, you"ll need toadd the hinges...


I used some small 1 1/2" utilityhinges và mounted them as shown below.


Adding the latch...


I made a very simple latch khổng lồ get into thetrap. What I did was cut a small slot inthe end of the door with my jigsaw. I then closed the door & marked thecenter of the slot on my frame edge. I then drilled a hole just a littlesmaller than the outside diameter of my piece of all thread. I then stuckit into my drill & literally screwed it into the hole using my drill. Ithen released it from the drill, closed the door & then added the washer andwing nut. Works lượt thích a champ!


This makes for an easy way of opening andclosing the front door.


Now if you like, you can showroom the frontporch so that the sparrows have something lớn sit on. And with that done,the front of your trap should look like the above.

Now for the back.


Again, repeat by cutting a one piece boardfor the back panel. (18" x 10"). Then, by pressing down on the jug,measure upfrom the bottom of frame to the bottom of the jug. The resulting dimension is the bottom of thehole in the back panel. địa chỉ the required 3/4" to the center & drillthe hole.

Example: Mine measured 1 1/4" +3/4" = 2" from the bottom of the back panel to the center of the hole.After drilling the 1 1/2" hole, attach to the back of the frame with screws as shown. The back panel can now be screwed into place.


The Down Chute:


Next, you have lớn make a down chute forthe sparrow to escape the trap & be funneled down to the catch cage...This is done as shown above. The tubing I used is 4" thin walled PVCtubing. (It can be purchased just about anywhere). The outside dimensions to lớn this tube are 4 1/4", therefore,you need to make a frame that has a 4 1/4" inside dimension. Theactual dimensions for the boards used here are (1)