BACKYARD SECRET—House Sparrows Took America by Storm.

House Sparrows

       House Sparrows

During the 1800s, several attempts were made to establish house sparrows in the United States. All of these efforts failed until the early 1850s when birds imported from Europe were released in Brooklyn, New York. For some reason, these particular birds prospered and soon gained a foothold in the New World. In fact, they did so well that, in only fifty years, house sparrows spread across the entire United States.

Interestingly, house sparrows were brought to our shores because people found them attractive and the widely held belief they would help control corn pests. Little did the well-meaning folks that released the birds realize house sparrows would compete for nest sites with bluebirds and other native birds that nest in cavities and nesting boxes. In fact, they proved to be such fierce competitors for nest sites; they eliminated bluebird populations in many parts of the country.

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