Saving the Bluebird



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We’ve got power of life and death over lots of the animals of the planet. The everyday choices we make can have enormous effects, both malefic and beneficial, to the living fabric of our planet.

Early in the last century, citizens of The U.S. Canada And Bermuda Formed a motion whose activities prevented the endangerment and potential extinction of what they sometimes known as the blue robin.

Bluebird populations were waxing and waning in response to human activities since the time of European settlement. Something as straightforward as a post hole in a fence or a crevice in a barn became home for a then flourishing bluebird population. Early American agriculturalists bore a hate for the chicken hawk, they would often shoot, thinning out the population of bluebird predators. For a period the bluebird multiplied its own number.

Sometime around 1900 starlings were introduced to the North American continent in Europe. It’s been said that this was done only as a novelty but it was an entertainment that was to have devastating consequences for the bluebird population. Starlings evict bluebirds in their habitat and consume the berries that make up a substantial part of their diet.

As human folly had brought about the horrific debacle it’d take the action of a wide coalition of individuals to rescue them from at least near oblivion. The answer by a concerned citizenry was to vertical birdhouses, [often referred to as nest boxes] across the assortment of bluebird habitation from the U.S., lower Canada and Bermuda.

Later in 1938 a blend of bird fans, garden clubs and the Missouri Highway Department established the National Bluebird trail.

The birdhouses were made from cedar and most importantly had entrance holes too small for the bigger invasive starling to enter [4cm]. They were made after a design invented by Dr. Thomas E. Musselman of Quincy Illinois. His mailbox type birdhouse enabled bird enthusiasts to view in the box by lifting the lid, allowing them to inspect inside. They then could determine not only if it was occupied but the condition of the occupants. This greatly eased the strain on bluebird populations but other issues faced them.

Around the same time the starling was introduced another European species made its birth, the house sparrow. Contrary to the starling the house sparrow can fit through holes designed for a bluebird.

As an invasive species home swallows enjoy no protection under law. It’s a tricky task to place an animal to death, particularly for bird fans but this is the only system of security for bluebirds and other songbirds from such aggressors. Some birders have fashioned traps that fit into bluebird houses. After a sparrow is trapped it’s put into a bigger trap which allows entry but pubs exit. The sparrows are gregarious and are attracted to others of the species.

Another way people can help the bluebird is to plant an assortment of berry bushes that bear fruit at different times of the year. Particularly helpful are berries that last into winter the most taxing season.



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