I was checking boxes on the Hill Trail, expecting no activity. When Doug opened a slot box (#2), this male was inside and refused to budge. I think he is the mate of my brave blue, who is also the "cover girl" featured on my home page. I came over and opened the box to get an egg count, and he stood firm. He definitely has a "don't mess with this nest" look on his face. I quickly took a photo (sans flash) and left him in peace.
This pair is nesting on an experimental trail in a House Sparrow infested area. Their success is probably due to strong defense of the nest, although they did lose a clutch earlier in the season even though it was protected by a sparrow spooker.
These eggs are quite late - I do not know the date the first was laid, as I've been on travel for two weeks. This is the last remaining active bluebird nest on my trail in NE CT. (I do have two active chickadee nests elsewhere.)
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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