Battling for Bluebirds

Battling for Native Birds If you’ve ever tried putting out nest boxes to attract bluebirds, you’ve seen how easily other species muscle their way into the nests. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Mizejewski: When it comes to putting out nesting boxes, like bluebirds – which can really be helped by them because a lot of their natural nesting cavities are not there anymore. We’ve gotten rid of all the dead and old trees that had holes in them, all the old fence posts that used to get holes in them where these birds would nest. So putting out the nesting box is good, but not if non-native birds, like English House Sparrows and European Starlings are taking them over. David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation and the author of the book, “Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife.” Mizejewski: So my first bit of advice would be, protect the natural habitat and the natural nesting spots in your community, even, maybe you have them on your property. Keep those dead standing trees. Those are natural nesting spots for the bluebirds and other cavity nesters. Now, if you are going to put out a nesting box, you do really need to monitor it. And if you see some of these non-native birds beginning to build a nest, go in there and clean it out before they even lay eggs. Neither one of those species are protected. It’s actually the recommended thing to do, is to try to prevent them from nesting, so that the native birds can actually nest. Every bird species has a slightly different nest design. Some of them are using different materials; some of them use mud. Bluebirds are using the typical fodder for building a nest; it’s old dry plant stems and things like that. But, if you’re putting out nesting boxes, it is important to become a little bit of an expert on what those nests look like. So that, if you have some of these non-native invasive birds building in there, you’ll know that it’s them and not the bluebirds. And there’s tons of great online resources and even books out there that specialize just in birds nest identification. We’ll hear more about attracting native species in future programs. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Battling for Bluebirds

If you want Bluebirds in your nesting boxes, it likely means evicting Sparrows and Starlings.
Air Date:06/29/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

Battling for Native Birds If you've ever tried putting out nest boxes to attract bluebirds, you've seen how easily other species muscle their way into the nests. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Mizejewski: When it comes to putting out nesting boxes, like bluebirds - which can really be helped by them because a lot of their natural nesting cavities are not there anymore. We've gotten rid of all the dead and old trees that had holes in them, all the old fence posts that used to get holes in them where these birds would nest. So putting out the nesting box is good, but not if non-native birds, like English House Sparrows and European Starlings are taking them over. David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation and the author of the book, "Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife." Mizejewski: So my first bit of advice would be, protect the natural habitat and the natural nesting spots in your community, even, maybe you have them on your property. Keep those dead standing trees. Those are natural nesting spots for the bluebirds and other cavity nesters. Now, if you are going to put out a nesting box, you do really need to monitor it. And if you see some of these non-native birds beginning to build a nest, go in there and clean it out before they even lay eggs. Neither one of those species are protected. It's actually the recommended thing to do, is to try to prevent them from nesting, so that the native birds can actually nest. Every bird species has a slightly different nest design. Some of them are using different materials; some of them use mud. Bluebirds are using the typical fodder for building a nest; it's old dry plant stems and things like that. But, if you're putting out nesting boxes, it is important to become a little bit of an expert on what those nests look like. So that, if you have some of these non-native invasive birds building in there, you'll know that it's them and not the bluebirds. And there's tons of great online resources and even books out there that specialize just in birds nest identification. We'll hear more about attracting native species in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.