You often see references to the "gentle bluebird." Barbara Dunn of Hollidaysburg, PA took more than 200 photos of a fierce battle between two male bluebirds. The ability to defend a nest against competitors (especially House Sparrows) is a valuable survival trait.
Here is her account:
This morning I was fixing my hair and happened to look out the bathroom window to see two male bluebirds plummeting to the ground. I've had bluebirds nesting in my yard for almost thirty years and I feed them mealworms and photograph them year round. But this is the first time I've ever witnessed a fight that went on for SIX MINUTES!!!
I like to let nature take its course, and so I grabbed the camera to capture this 'first' for me....shooting 3 frames per second out the the upstairs window. They just wouldn't give it up. I finally went outside and broke up the fight by walking very close to them. And they went to the field next door and continued! No blood or poked out eyes...more like a wrestling match, alternately pinning each other down, and rolling around on the grass. The bluebird couple is back to normal and I hope it doesn't happen again."
For more pictures see:
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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