My Answer to The White Crowned Sparrow

My parents came to visit when my home was relatively new.  I showed my little vegetable garden to them with requests for advice.  One problem that I was having was that seeds would germinate, and then disappear within a day or two.  Leaves that remained had holes in them.  My mother, who fed four kids out of six half wine barrels on the driveway (only sunny spot) quickly figured out what the culprit was.  “White crowned sparrows,” she said.

At first I didn’t believe her.  I hadn’t seen any white crowned sparrows in my yard.  Finches and English Sparrows, yes.  White crowned sparrows?  Not a one.  A year or two later, I was out at dusk.  Wouldn’t you know it, a couple of white crowned sparrows swooped over the neighbor’s brick wall into my garden.  The got their fill of my seedlings and then flew back over the brick wall.  Why does Mom always have to be right?

My vegetable beds are sunken to keep irrigation water in place so,  I tried putting down bird netting over the top of the beds with rocks along the edges to weigh them down. The little monsters managed to sneak under the netting.  Eventually I figured out that if I put aviary cloth on a frame and sealed the edges, my seedlings survived until they were large enough to not be of interest to the voracious sparrows.

Answer to the White Crowned Sparrow

Aviary Cloth on a Frame to Keep Out White Crowned Sparrows.  Note: pattern of missing plants is adjacent to gaps that need to be filled in.


It worked!  The sparrows move on to other sources of seeds, which I provided. Now all of us are getting fed.

About Caliche Chick

I retired from a career as an Environmental Scientist and Botanist. My first career was teaching science and English as a Second Language (ESL), and content classes for ESL students at the middle school level. I also taught introductory biology at the community college level. I have an avid interest in plants that grow with little to no irrigation. I also keep a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and back yard chickens. When I am not in my yard, I am taking Construction Technology Classes at Victor Valley College and working on my "fixer upper" home.
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1 Response to My Answer to The White Crowned Sparrow

  1. Pingback: October Rain | Time to Sow Seed and Plant Bulbs | Caliche Challenge

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