Happy spring to all of the bird lovers out there! We need excited volunteers like you to participate in the Sparrow Swap citizen science project. A common sentiment among bluebird monitors is that house sparrows are good for nothing. Make them good for something by gathering their eggs and sending them to the egg collection at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Weʼll investigate how to use these eggs for monitoring and mapping environmental contaminants. The data will also help determine the best management strategies for minimizing damage caused by house sparrows.

The Sparrow Swap asks for your help in pursuing two long-term research goals. The first goal seeks to investigate variation in color and speckling of house sparrow eggs across the United States. Eventually the egg contents will be analyzed to explore the potential for the eggs to provide for more affordable monitoring of hazardous compounds to communities. The second goal is to improve public stewardship of native bird species by studying the effectiveness of house sparrow management strategies. We have four ways bluebird monitors can get involved:
As a Collector: Remove and send house sparrow eggs to the Museum
As a Remover: Remove house sparrow eggs, record observations in that nestbox during three follow-up visits, send eggs to the Museum
As a Swapper: Swap real house sparrow eggs with hand-painted wooden replicas provided by us, record observations in that nestbox during three follow-up visits, and send eggs to the Museum
As a Monitor: Swap or remove house sparrow eggs, record observations in that nestbox and neighboring nestboxes during three follow-up visits, and send eggs to the Museum.

If youʼd like to join and make house sparrows good for something, visit scistarter.com/sparrowswap, create a SciStarter account and JOIN Sparrow Swap. We’ll provide you with instructions and datasheets. If you have any questions, send us a message through Scistarter or contact us at sparrowswap@ncsu.edu. You can also ask questions and share your experiences with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sparrowswap.

Suzanne Hartley (Project Manager)
The Sparrow Swap Team
Website: scistarter.com/sparrowswap
smhartle@ncsu.edu