[Tweeters] Swallow aid when we trapped & fed house sparrows to our boa?

Stewart Wechsler ecostewart at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 15:10:53 PDT 2018

I read with partial amusement one report ("Swallow Status") about the
trapping and killing of House Sparrows helping with re-establishment of
Cliff Swallow colonies by trapping and killing House Sparrows, as well
their being a problem for Tree Swallows, that could be aided by House
Sparrow control. When I was a kid on Long Island, NY, our family had a pet
Boa Constrictor - *Constrictor constrictor
*named "Seemore"*. *To feed the snake we put bird seed in a Have-a-Heart
live trap, and when we caught a House Sparrow, or Starling (or other more
common, and less showy bird - Cardinals, though common, were always
released) we fed it to Seemore, the Boa Constrictor. Little did I know we
could have been helping swallows by doing so. That said, the only swallows
that nested in the general vicinity were Barn Swallows.

While I thought some Tweeters would enjoy the anecdote, I am not
recommending keeping snakes as pets so you can have an appropriate predator
to feed your trapped House Sparrows to. It seems too likely to encourage
others to catch wild animals for such curious caged pets, and this is not
good for them or their populations.

-Stewart Wechsler
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