Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
Sialis - Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters



Prothonotary Nesting in a Tree

PROW nesting in tree. Photo by Charlie Bombaci.

A Prothonotary Warbler (PROW) nesting in a cavity in a tree. PROWs seem to prefer trees that are 15-20 cm in diameter at brast height. Trees that are common in their breeding habitat (which is almost always by water in a wooded area) include willows, maple, sweet gum, willow oak, ashes, elms, river birch, black gum, tupelo, cypress, etc. (Source: Birds of North America online). Photo by Charlie Bombaci, a volunteer naturalist at the Hoover Nature Preserve in Delaware County, Ohio. See higher resolution version.

Nesting in trees has downfalls. For example, as you can see from this photo, the cavity is larger than a PROW needs (minimum of 1&1/8") which could enable access by predators and larger birds such as starlings. More info.

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    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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