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Old 11th July 2011, 08:07 PM   #1
Gill
 
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Hello All,
I have four house martin nests on my house and have been looking forward to watching them develop and see the young fly away.

However, a chaffinch seems to have come along and is up to something! She tried to get into one nest and knocked it down, luckly before there were any eggs or young. The poor house martins returned from hunting only to have to start a nest again.

Now there are two chaffinch and they have been hanging around two other nests. They seem to go into one and are possibly feeding young? Could she be stealing the nests or could she be a danger to the young house martins?

We found a fledgeling on the ground the other day. He didnt make it and today we found four dead martins on the ground under their nest. Dont know what happened to them. Would a chaffinch through young martins out to rob the nest. We have cats and are anxious that no more little birds come down to the ground!

Could anyone help with some advice on this?

Thanks,
Gill
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Old 12th July 2011, 03:12 PM   #2
Penna
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Hi Gill, I have never heard of Chaffinches doing this, there are other birds that sometimes rob or demolish other species nests but why a Chaffinch would do this baffles me.
You could try putting up Martin boxes for next year, this would stop them being destroyed but may not help protect the young from the Finches, on the positive side Chaffinches don't live that long so next year you should be much more succesful with your House Martins.
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Old 13th July 2011, 09:16 AM   #3
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As Penna said, this is very unusual behaviour. It is not uncommon for House Sparrows to use House Martin boxes, however Chaffinches will always build their own nest. I would think it would be highly unlikely for the Chaffinches to be purposely destroying the nests but cannot come up with a plausable explanation, I'm afraid
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Old 13th July 2011, 08:39 PM   #4
Gill
 
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Thank you for your responses. I have studied the birds more and I think you are right. They are House Sparrows. So the poor chaffinch is off the hook!!

Two of the nests are now silent and one has sparrows in it and the last one I saw a House Martin go into it this evening. Its a shame. I think I will put up some nests next year and see would the sparrows go for them and leave the Martins alone?

Thanks for your advice.
Regards,
Gill
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Old 21st July 2011, 09:04 AM   #5
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Hi Gill, putting up some Sparrow boxes could help. Generally they like to nest communally so look for a triple box however they will also occupy a standard box given that the entrance hole is atleast 32mm. This might encourage them to nest in their own boxes and give the Martins a chance, though there are of course no guarantees when you're dealing with nature!
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Old 19th September 2011, 11:26 AM   #6
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Hi, Gill - The CJ catalogue has readymade housemartin nests, which I would think would be harder for the sparrows to destroy than a nest made of mud, and they also stock house sparrow "terraces". Of course other suppliers will have these as well.
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