The short answer is HABITAT DESTRUCTION!!! Birds frequently build their nest and raise their nestlings in dead trees.
How many dead trees did you see today as you were out and about? Exactly!
Now, I don’t suggest that we go around killing trees. Not at all. However, if you should happen to encounter a dead or dying tree, remember- it is a great natural habitat for our birds and other wildlife.
If it becomes necessary to remove a tree from your property, keep as much of the seemingly lifeless tree as possible. Cut only as much as needed to protect your family’s living structure.
As construction and development continues in our county, more and more trees will be lost. It is a great idea to replace as many trees as possible with NATIVE trees in order to restore the natural habitats that are being destroyed. While we are waiting for those trees to grow, it takes some time, we can provide supplemental nesting structures for our native bird species.
There is no greater joy than watching a pair of blue birds dart in and out of a box that you have provided. Now, like most discerning creatures, not just any old box will do. There are specifications that need to be taken into consideration as you become a bird family landlord.
- You must make sure the structure is sound and has the proper amount of ventilation and drainage.
- There should be a raised platform so that the nest will be protected from insects that may harm young birds.
- There needs to be a ladder of sorts, so that when the fledglings are ready to venture out on their own, they can reach the opening.
- Most species prefer their very own type of box. However, some species will nest in boxes designed for a larger species, for instance, a nuthatch or chickadee may make use of a box that was designed with the blue bird in mind.
When a pair of birds have chosen your offered home, you will know instant delight and if you are anything like me, you will be bursting with pride as “your family” builds a nest and lays eggs. You will wait impatiently as the pair takes turn incubating the eggs and you will watch closely as you try to determine if she is feeding him or the other way around.
After the appropriate number of days, that you are, of course, marking on your calendar, you check to see if the eggs have hatched. You must be careful as some bird species are very protective of their newly hatched children. It might be necessary to deploy a decoy (your husband) so you can hurriedly peek inside the box and snap a quick photo.
Now you have established that you are the honored host to a growing family- you take special care to provide the working parents only the very best in way of nourishment and refreshment.
As the days go by the nestlings quickly grow to fledglings. Almost so quickly that you can not wait more than a day or two between peeks…
because if you do….
you’ll find an empty nest!!
So although we have an obligation and responsibility to conserve, preserve, restore and protect the natural environment and habitats, it brings immense pleasure and satisfaction to provide alternative housing to our wildlife.
So, plant native trees, protect all trees as they mature and provide homes to our birds, but also, seize every opportunity to assist as nature heals itself.
Provide nourishment, refreshment, housing and guardianship to our world and those we share it with.