Action Home Sparrow!

Volunteers Jon Wouda (Vogelwerkgroep Nijmegen e.o.) and Damiaan Messing (Walk of Wisdom)

In the sweltering late August days, together with the Bird Working Group Nijmegen and surroundings, we delivered 43 nesting boxes for house sparrows to contacts on our 136-kilometre route: Action Home Sparrow. The wood-concrete cabinets will last a hundred years and we hope that they will be placed in places where they can make it through that time. May many generations of sparrows find their home there!

We saved the money for the cabinets with candle money from pilgrims in the Valkhof Chapel in Nijmegen in 2018. We doubled the amount thanks to our landscape contribution (€1 per starter pack). The Bird Working Group Nijmegen and surroundings made a substantial contribution.

First address: designer Anne Louman of our route guide

Remarkably, the gardens of our host families and B&Bs were often easy to pick out: oases of greenery full of flowers. From small front gardens to kind of one-hectare estates with owners who showed their stork’s nest (Gathering Garden) or owl box (Blue Pump) with glow on their cheeks.

It was nice to give people something as a gift and thus add cordiality to the route. At the same time, we also helped nature move forward, which is a great combination. House sparrows are having a hard time due to the disappearance of nesting opportunities due to better roof insulation. The nesting boxes are desperately needed.

By Rudie van Haren (Holtsehoek Balgoy)

By the way, we received a lot of cordiality in return: from delicious fresh water to pear juice, coffee, plums, peaches and apple turnovers. Special mention for inn ‘t Zwaantje in Mook who bought no less than 3 extra nesting boxes and café de Diepen in Milsbeek (1 extra).

What can you do for house sparrows? Read below 9 tips from the Bird Protection Society and buy a cabinet yourself in their store. You already have a nice wooden one for sparrows for €12,-. Buy more food for €13 and it will be delivered to your home for free: link.

From the website of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds:

“Putting up nesting boxes

The value of a home depends on three things: location, location, location. This also applies to nesting boxes. A simple nest box in a good place is more popular than a fantastic nest box in an unsuitable place.

9 tips to hang your nest box properly

  1. Hang the nest box in a quiet place, so that the birds feel safe and dare to go inside. So not right next to the terrace, if you often sit there in the spring.
  2. Not in full sun, so preferably not facing south.
  3. Sheltered from the wind. It is best to orient the entrance opening to the northeast, because the wind in the Netherlands often comes from the southwest.
  4. A free and safe approach path is important. No branches directly in front of the opening.
  5. Away from cats. Mesh around the tree can keep cats away.
  6. Birds of the same species prefer to live at least ten meters apart. For birds of different species, such as great and blue, the boxes can be about three meters apart.
  7. Colony breeders like to live in groups: the nests for sparrows, starlings and swallows can therefore hang next to each other.
  8. Hang the nest box securely so that it cannot swing or fall.
  9. Hang up in the fall. Birds can already get used to it and use the cupboard as a place to sleep.

And… Clean the closet every year in September or October. With boiling water. Put on your own kitchen gloves, because it won’t be very clean.

More: link Vogelbescherming