Island Beach

bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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I'm happy to see balance in all these posts regarding the topic. I'm just one of those people that has a pet peeve about it.
 

GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
I'm happy to see balance in all these posts regarding the topic. I'm just one of those people that has a pet peeve about it.
We all have our pet peeves. My growing one is the exalted status given the Eastern Bluebird. For a bird not listed as endangered or threatened, many will have you think it's nests and hatchlings need to be monitored (harassed) on a weekly basis, protected from its natural predators and given preferential consideration for nestboxes over other species, all because it's population has been returning to that which likely existed before man created better habitat by clearing most of the state in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
 
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NJChileHead

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Dec 22, 2011
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We all have our pet peeves. My growing one is the exalted status given the Eastern Bluebird. For a bird not listed as endangered or threatened, many will have you think it's nests and hatchlings need to be monitored (harassed) on a weekly basis, protected from its natural predators and given preferential consideration for nestboxes over other species, all because it's population has been returning to that which likely existed before man created better habitat by clearing most of the state in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
It's interesting that you should mention that, it never crossed my mind how many different types of cavity-nesting birds there are compared to the attention that bluebirds get. I wonder if it has less to do with lack of appropriate nesting sites and more to do with their susceptibility to being run off by more aggressive birds? I know I've come across discussions of the impact that house sparrows have on them. It's definitely something I'd like to read/hear more about.
 

46er

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Mar 24, 2004
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It's definitely something I'd like to read/hear more about.
It's another form of bird watching, but interactive, similar to how folks feed birds when there is really no practical reason to do so. Example are the feeders for Hummingbirds at Batsto and Wells Mills CP. They are also an education tool, helps children become involved. The state has one at the FREC in Jackson, where the picture was taken.

http://www.njparksandforests.org/forest/bluebirdtrail.htm
 

NJChileHead

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Dec 22, 2011
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It's another form of bird watching, but interactive, similar to how folks feed birds when there is really no practical reason to do so. Example are the feeders for Hummingbirds at Batsto and Wells Mills CP. They are also an education tool, helps children become involved. The state has one at the FREC in Jackson, where the picture was taken.

http://www.njparksandforests.org/forest/bluebirdtrail.htm
I didn't know that about FREC. I'll have to check it out with the kids, thank you for the info!

German brought up a great point, bluebirds are not the only cavity nesting birds that took a hit in the late 19th/early 20th century because of land being cleared (and because of the very significant decrease in the beaver population). Tree swallows, purple martins, wood ducks, screech owls, and others are also secondary cavity nesters and I believe they took a hit as well. Yet the bluebird does get more attention. I am wondering if perhaps the European starling and house sparrow being aggressive and invasive cavity nesters has continued to put pressure on the bluebird moreso than the other birds? Or could it be that the bluebird simply became a 'fashionable' bird to build nest boxes for as scout projects and Home Depot kits? I'm definitely interested now too.
 

bobpbx

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Or could it be that the bluebird simply became a 'fashionable' bird to build nest boxes for as scout projects and Home Depot kits? I'm definitely interested now too.
Well, it is a beautiful bird. When seen, it often quickens the pulse and delights the heart. Nothing wrong with that. Building boxes likely became just a symbol of doing something for the environment.
 

GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
Don't get me wrong. I'm not against bluebird boxes. I've been involved in placement of more than my share. My comments were directed more at the activities deemed necessary by many once the boxes are used by birds. Helping wildlife by mitigating habit loss is a good thing. When it comes to insisting on the need to babysit them, you start to lose me.
 
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NJChileHead

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Dec 22, 2011
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Don't get me wrong. I'm not against bluebird boxes. I've been involved in placement of more than my share. My comments were directed more at the activities deemed necessary by many once the boxes are used by birds. Helping wildlife by mitigating habit loss is a good thing. When it comes to insisting on the need to babysit them, you start to lose me.
That I certainly understand!
 

bobpbx

Piney
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When it comes to insisting on the need to babysit them, you start to lose me.
Well, let's consider the piping plover, which breeds on LBI. They are protected strenuously, even to the point of surrounding the eggs/chicks with fencing. That I agree with, though it could be considered babysitting. But what I don't like is the mad dash every year to surround the young and tag them on their spindly little legs.
 

ninemileskid

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Sep 14, 2014
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Well, let's consider the piping plover, which breeds on LBI. They are protected strenuously, even to the point of surrounding the eggs/chicks with fencing. That I agree with, though it could be considered babysitting. But what I don't like is the mad dash every year to surround the young and tag them on their spindly little legs.
I'm not totally against banding birds and ear-tagging bears etc. but I do think a lot of those piping plover bands wind up in piles of red fox crap at IBSP.
 

Gibby

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Apr 4, 2011
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From what I have heard from several monitors of T/E in the barrens, there is a noticeable increase of Corn predation by Kings. This could be typical and they are aware of it only because the snakes have been implanted with a transmitter or the transmitter itself could be the cause. It is something that needs further attention. Hopefully Dragon will chime in because he has more field experience with Corns.

IMO, some of what I have seen with implanted transmitters in snakes is borderline abuse. I don't like it but is it necessary? Maybe?
 
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