In reality, any nestbox suitable for bluebirds can be entered by a HOSP. Even if they do not prefer a certain box style, if nothing else is available, HOSP may still use it. See HOSP Management - Nestbox Style.
This HOSP nest demonstrates the use of seed heads, which are generally not present in bluebird nests. It also shows typical HOSP construction with nesting material curving up the sides of the box. See descriptions of nests and photo album. Also see HOSP photos.
HOSP nests are typically bulky, and contain feathers and trash.
It's always depressing to see blue feathers incorporated into a HOSP nest. HOSP will even build their nests on top of their victims' corpse. See descriptions and photos (warning - graphic) of HOSP attacks.
Notice trash (cellophane) and overall bulkiness of nest.
As late as 8/11/06, one of these boxes still had an active House Sparrow nest in it with four eggs. This is one reason why HOSP are such effective invaders - their nesting season starts earlier and ends later than most other cavity nesters. They may have 2-4 broods per season.
You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in which it dwells. Disturb or destroy that habitat and you will exterminate the species as surely as if you had shot it. So conservation means that you have to preserve forest and grassland, river and lake, even the sea itself. This is vital not only for the preservation of animal life generally, but for the future existence of man himself—a point that seems to escape many people.
-Gerald Durrell, The Nature Conservancy
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