birds or butterflies?

Rudy Benavides rbenavid at
Tue Jan 22 08:43:34 EST 2002

[You might also consider that starlings and house sparrows appreciate
nest boxes]

The standard 1 1/2" diameter opening used in songbird nest boxes will keep 
starlings out (they're too plump), but are wide enough for house sparrows, 
as well as the native tree swallows, bluebirds, titmice, chickadees, etc.  
Starlings around here go for other boxes with larger openings...wood duck, 
owl, etc.

If all you get are tree swallows, which take most of their food during 
flight from flying insects, then I agree with what Mike Gochfeld said that 
they won't eat many butterflies.  But if you get some of the other songbirds 
mentioned, whose feeding habits are on the ground and on and around trees 
and shrubs, they will consume lep larvae when available.  During nesting 
season, it's a continuous trip to the 'grocery store' throughout the day for 
those birds...with all those mouths to feed.  I would be careful where I 
located the nestboxes... not within easy pickins of larvae and pupae.


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