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Old 07-20-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default Bluebird-Keepers, comments Needed

NESTING BLUES - Yahoo! News

I know we have some folks here who are very serious about keeping bluebird houses. Please send the author of this article a letter. He usually gives fantastic advice, but I believe he is mistaken here. Thank you.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:56 PM   #2
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The author, Randy Cohen, has a right to his opinion. I also have a right to mine. Randy Cohen is an idiot. I will be writing a letter.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
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He is talking about ethics... and I think he threads the needle quite well.

He does note its ethically better to have no bluebird houses at all than to provide a spot for house sparrows to nest.
Ethically better to disturb a nest than kill babies and destroy eggs.

I do have an ethical dilemma with providing bird houses and then killing the birds that nest there. Which is why I don't do bluebird houses.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishlkmich View Post
The author, Randy Cohen, has a right to his opinion. I also have a right to mine. Randy Cohen is an idiot. I will be writing a letter.
On this one topic, he may be uninformed, but he generally isn't an idiot. Thank you for writing.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joepyeweed View Post
He does note its ethically better to have no bluebird houses at all than to provide a spot for house sparrows to nest.
Ethically better to disturb a nest than kill babies and destroy eggs.
That's a good way of putting it. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:03 PM   #6
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought if you make the entrance holes the appropriate size that house sparrows couldn't use them. That way you can have your birds houses and not provide homes for house sparrows.

As far as ethics go, I wouldn't wont to be measured by his standards.
I wonder if he feels conscience stricken when he swats flies.
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Last edited by milkweed; 07-20-2009 at 05:33 PM. Reason: wrote swallows when I meant sparrows
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:12 PM   #7
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Its actually house sparrows (not swallows)... and no the problem with bluebird houses is that the hole size that allows blue birds, also fits house sparrows.

Hole size restrictors can be placed on bird houses that restrict the box to swallows or chickadees, no sparrows, but you won't get any bluebirds either. The hole size limits are for people who don't want to clean out the sparrow nests, but still want to have bird houses.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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So bluebirds and house sparrows can use the same holes?
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:42 PM   #9
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Yes. That is why bluebirds and their young may die.

Bluebirds are a North American species.

English house sparrows and European starlings are introduced species that compete with native cavity nesters.

Wildlife Gardeners supports those who practice passive and active sparrow control.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:55 PM   #10
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Exclamation Graphic photo of dead nestlings in post

Mr, Cohen is a very misguided soul in my opinion. I've read and re-read his comments. He's not mistaken, it was clearly his intent to bully people away from active sparrow control. I'm sorry to see a man with his belief system in such a high profile position.

I feel very strongly about this because I have seen with my own eyes what HOSP's and EUST's do to native cavity nesters.

Pardon me for borrowing fishlkmich's photo of the dead tree sparrow nestlings scattered about on the ground.

Here Mr. Cohen, tell me if this is ok with you because this is what happens when well intentioned people take advice from people like you and provide housing to bluebirds or purple martins or any other cavity nesting birds when HOSPs are present in the area without passively and actively practicing sparrow control.
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