This Eastern Bluebird is nesting in House Sparrow infested territory. The nestbox contents are protected 24/7 by a Sparrow Spooker, but nothing is guaranteed. She refuses to budge from her clutch of six eggs, even though I called softly to her and tapped on the box before opening it. In my experience bluebirds usually leave the box when it is monitored. (Tree Swallows and White-breasted Nuthatches may remain.) This picture was taken without a flash to avoid scaring her any more than I already did by opening the box. Photo by Bet Zimmerman. (Download higher resolution photo - not for commercial use)
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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