Any Sparrow nesting experts?

I was going to cut down my ivy but there's a sparrow nesting in it, though I can't see the nest but he's definitely in and out.

So how long do nesting sparrows take to do their nesting. He's been there a few weeks now and is delaying my garden makeover. If I could find the nest I might be able to remove some of it without disturbing him but he's well hidden.

Well, when I say he......
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
Not sure if they raise more than one brood ... but their numbers are seriously declining and need all the help they can get.
 
OP
C

Crackle

..
I know, I don't want to disturb him at all. I was looking before and think his nest is in the deep woody section in the middle. If so, I can cut through the bottom section without disturbing the ivy and leave the actual removal until autumn.
 

Gromit

Über Member
Location
York
Garden makeovers in spring? The time for removing unwanted garden items is in the winter time.

Best leave the little birds in alone until they have raised their young.
 

Gromit

Über Member
Location
York
Crackle said:
I know, I don't want to disturb him at all. I was looking before and think his nest is in the deep woody section in the middle. If so, I can cut through the bottom section without disturbing the ivy and leave the actual removal until autumn.
That is probably the best thing to do, at least they will still have some cover. ;)
 

Glow worm

Legendary Member
Location
Near Newmarket
I guess a rough rule of thumb would be to try to avoid cutting any hedges/ ivy etc anytime from mid March, probably through to mid -August as you might disturb any number to bird species (and then try to avoid cutting berry bearing hedges as the birds will need these over autumn).

I don't know precisely how long sparrows take to fledge but would guess it could be in the range 6-15 days or so? Someone will prob. have a better idea. Your problem is then though that they may go on to have a 2nd or even a 3rd brood. IfI was you, I'd leave the tidying until much later in the year and enjoy the wildlife!
 

TVC

Guest
I have a nest of spuggies in my front hedge, they've been there a couple of years. I watch to see them taking in grubs, and leave the trimming until they've clearly stopped feeding what ever is in the nest.
 
the RSPB says this...

House sparrows nest in loose colonies of 10-20 pairs. Since they don't defend a proper territory, nests can be as little as 20-30cm apart. Colonies spread over a quarter to half a hectare, separated by empty spaces of apparently identical habitat.

Sparrows prefer to nest in holes in an occupied building but they regularly use other kinds of holes and nestboxes, even house martin nests. If there is a shortage of holes, they can build a free-standing nest in a thick hedge or conifer, although this is infrequent in the UK.

Pairs are faithful to their nest site and to each other for life, although a lost mate of either sex is normally replaced within days. A hole is filled with dry grass or straw with a nesting chamber lined with feathers, hairs, string and paper. Feathers may be plucked from a live pigeon!

The main nesting season is from April to August, although nesting has been recorded in all months. Most birds lay two or three clutches, but in a good year fourth attempts are not uncommon.

The female lays two to five eggs at daily intervals and often starts to incubate part way through egg-laying. Both sexes incubate, and the chicks hatch after 11-14 days. The parents share nesting duties equally. Chicks are brooded for 6-8 days, but can control their own body temperature only when 10 or 11 days old. The chicks are fed on aphids, caterpillars, weevils and grasshoppers, but seed and grain are the most important foods by the time they fledge.

The young fledge 14-16 days after hatching. They are unable to feed themselves for a week after leaving the nest and are cared for by their parents for a fortnight. Post-fledging care is normally left to the male; the hen prepares for the next brood. She starts to lay about a week after the previous brood fledged.

Newly independent young gather in large flocks, outside the breeding area where there is an abundance of seed and other suitable foods. These are often areas of wasteland and hayfields rich in grass and weed seeds. Later, flocks move on to grainfields to feed on the ripening grain. Here they are joined by adult birds, once they have finished nesting.

Between August and October many colonies are abandoned in favour of the temporary abundance of grain. Once the flocks break up in October, nesting colonies are re-occupied. Any birds that don't return, will soon be replaced by juvenile birds.

.... Wrens also like ivy... as do flutterbys, many insects depend on it for food.
 
OP
C

Crackle

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Tah everyone. He's definitely on his own. Constantly on my feeder. I'll put some nest boxes up this autumn. I only need to get the bottom of the ivy up, it's not a big garden so he must be pretty used to the noise and comings and goings and the ivy has to go, the fence is about to collapse and the pear tree is being strangled but not yet now I know he's there. As for my gardening timing, well it's as the plan comes together and the mood takes me. Most of the work is paving, decking and turf.
 
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