I'm not aware that they are nocturnal at all. Their eyesight isn't great at the best of times, and some researchers believe that some urban beaver have become more nocturnal to avoid humans, pets, etc.I went to High Park this morning with visiting relatives and saw one casually swimming past on the pond with a stick in its mouth. Maybe they're a little more common and less nocturnal than I had thought.
We get Chipping Sparrows return and nest to the same bushes every year (Yew bushes around the perimeter of the house). Years ago someone bought me a Purple Martin house which I tried, unsuccessfully, to populate for several years (I learned later that the lack of a pond or watercourse was significant) but I recall reading that you do have to 'police' other species from roosting. Once Purple Martins do discover the neighbourhood, they generally tend to return. I can only assume the Club would build their houses with the properly-sized openings.Relating to other invasive/introduced birds, and the barn swallow structures mentioned in the Ontario Place thread, unsurprisingly there were only House Sparrows on the birdhouse in High Park, not the intended Purple Martins.
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Other than maybe constantly removing the sparrow nests, I'm not sure what could be done to keep them away. Apparently it's somewhat common in the U.S. for people to trap and "dispatch" () them, though I've not heard of that being encouraged in Canada, and I don't know if it would even be legal here.
Also important to note that not all sparrows are House Sparrows. Just on the way out of the park I saw some of these smaller and different-looking ones, I think Chipping Sparrows.
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