Male Eastern Bluebird feeding a grasshopper to its nestlings.
Photo by Bill Sims of Woodbridge VA
Bill Sims is a new parent (of Eastern Bluebirds :-) He put up a bird hours three years ago with high hopes....
The first year, bluebirds started nesting but they moved on before laying eggs.
The second year, several bluebirds spent a lot of time around the house and throughout our backyard, but again, they didn't move into the house.
This year, Starlings moved in. They were quickly evacuated. (Starlings, House Sparrows and other avian predators like a perch or porch on a nestbox, so many bluebirders avoid them.) Bill added a wood panel to the house to reduce the entry hole size. (Round holes should be no more than 1.5" in diameter.) Shortly thereafter, a male and female bluebird moved into the birdhouse!
You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in which it dwells. Disturb or destroy that habitat and you will exterminate the species as surely as if you had shot it. So conservation means that you have to preserve forest and grassland, river and lake, even the sea itself. This is vital not only for the preservation of animal life generally, but for the future existence of man himself—a point that seems to escape many people.
-Gerald Durrell, The Nature Conservancy
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