I was emptying out my sparrow trap yesterday, and my neighbor casually asked me what I would do with them. She was shocked when I told her I was going to eat them. "Sparrows?" she said. "You can eat sparrows?"
Yep, and starlings too. There isn't much meat on them, but there is no game restrictions on them, and here in Oklahoma you can take as many of them as you want, the more the merrier. (But check your local regulations, I don't want you to run afoul of the law.)
Both of these birds are non-native species that have adapted to living with man. They crowd out other, more desirable species, and in fact almost drove the bluebird to extinction until bird lovers found a way to build nesting boxes that would exclude both sparrows and starlings. Even the most ardent bird lover wouldnb't mind seeing a lot fewer of these troublesome birds.
There are several commercial bird traps for these critters, and instructions for building your own repeating traps are all over the internet. I use a smaller version of the flight or "ladder" trap, with an opening of about 1 1/4" for sparrows and about 1 3/4" inch for starlings. To empty out the trap, I use a bright flashlight to freeze a bird so i can grab it through the access door. Leave a bird or two in the trap,since they will call others to it. (Always have a water source in the trap. You're not going to want to eat a bird that's already dead.)
These birds aren't known for their drumsticks. The only meat worth bothering with is the meat on the breastbone. This bone is easily separated from the bird by grasping the wings in one hand, the legs in the other, and pulling. This may take a little practice before you're proficient at it. it takes several birds to make anything worthwhile.
There are recipes on the internet for these birds, but I just brown the meat on all sides in butter, margarine, oil, or preferably bacon grease. Shred the meat off the bone with a fork, and mix it with Miracle Whip to make sparrow or starling salad. Serve it on a bed of lettuce for a salad, or spread it on bread alone or with lettuce or alfalfa sprouts and tomato for a nourishing sandwich. (Of course, if times are really tough or you are a contestant on "Nekkid and Stoopid," you would eat the whole damn thing.)
Yummy yummy in your tummy!
You've not only fed yourself, but you have helped to keep some nuisance critters in check. And, you have saved a little money that you can spend on more ammo or a new radio. Enjoy!
Onward and upward, airforce
Posts: 18046 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002