birds or butterflies?

Martin Bailey cmbb at
Tue Jan 22 09:00:32 EST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anne Kilmer" <viceroy at GATE.NET>
To: "Ron Gatrelle" <gatrelle at>
Cc: <rbenavid at>; <don.benson at>;
<leps-l at>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 5:49 AM
Subject: Re: birds or butterflies?

> You might also consider that starlings and house sparrows appreciate
> nest boxes, and anybody who takes on such a project is therefore
> committed to clearing out and killing nestlings of these pest species.

I don't think that a nest box hole that is sized for a tree swallow is big
enough for a starling.  House sparrows can still get in.  Being bloody
minded you can kill the male house sparrow who is paired that to a nest box.
Killing nestlings is messy.  It is also inefficient as long as the male
and female adults are still "in season.".

The better solution is to place two nest boxes beside each other.  This
takes advantage of house sparrow territorial behaviour.  No male house
sparrow will allow another house sparrow to have a nest near his.  However,
he will not harass a tree swallow family living in that  adjacent box.

Martin Bailey,

greetings from:  Weyburn, SK., Canada.
                         49.39N  103.51W


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