A Steep Rock Service
by Rory Larson
Word on the river is there are rent-free, cozy cottages up for grabs in Washington. No AC, plumbing is rudimentary, and the neighbors can be rather intrusive, but the location cannot be beat and there are all the insects you can ever eat!
A diverse bird community calls Steep Rock Association (SRA) preserves home, including those that seek out hollows in trees to raise their young. Standing dead trees, or snags, that often harbor adequate cavities can be scarce, making nest sites a limiting resource to certain avian populations. For the American kestrel, eastern bluebird, and tree swallow, an isolated snag in grassland is ideal. Wood ducks and hooded mergansers prefer waterfront property while eastern screech owls target more private, forested real estate. Unfortunately, these desires can be tough to satisfy when there is not much to choose from. That’s where we come in.
Our Bird Box Builder staffers guarantee quality craftsmanship, superior design, and thoughtful siting. We’ll even throw in a complimentary early spring cleaning. This recipe has proved to attract the right tenants to our nest boxes who succeed in life thanks to their new digs. In just the past four years, a kestrel box in Steep Rock Preserve has put 18 small falcons into the world, each with a unique, identifying bracelet should they be encountered again. Citizen scientists have documented 56 nesting attempts in bluebird boxes, of which 48 bluebirds and 159 tree swallows successfully fledged. In addition, wood duck boxes installed in Macricostas Preserve have shown signs of occupancy by multiple species, including hooded mergansers.
Here at SRA, we take pride in encouraging all our native wildlife, with or without wings, to settle down in Washington through the gift of shelter, because we all need a roof over our head to makes ends meet and start a family.
American kestrel nestlings showing off their new bands. Photo by Rory Larson
Eastern bluebird clutch in a nest box at Macricostas Preserve. Photo by PJ Shurick (SRA NestWatcher)