[NAFEX] The bird pressure

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Fri Jul 2 18:35:13 EDT 2004

Of course there are different ways to handle birds, too.  Feeding means you
are giving them a source of food they wouldn't have in the wild, making them
dependent on you.  Giving them their proper habitat, but NOT feeding them,
can allow them to be self sufficient.
   On THAT thought, there are more birds you DO want than not.  Birds that
eat only insects, or only seeds, usually mean less weeds and fewer pests.
And there are some like wrens that are both insect eaters and so
aggressively territorial that if you give them habitat, they will keep all
other birds away.  I know of a blueberry grower who put wren houses at the
corners of a one acre blueberry patch and they kept all the fruit eating
birds out.  When one house was wrecked in a storm, fruit eaters moved into
that area of the patch.
   My son, who is in fish and wildlife, says all the wren species are
territorial that way, so that if you provide (for example) a small pond with
reeds and cattails, the marsh wrens will keep other birds away for some
distaince around the pond.
   So part of it is learning to give the birds what they need so that you
can have the RIGHT kind of birds around.  My choice, for instance would be
wrens, swallows, and bluebirds.  All are insect eaters, with the swallows
scooping up the mosquitoes in particular, and you would still have some
beautiful birds to look at, without them being dependent on you for food.
-Lon Rombough

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