A week ago there were five newborn Tufted Titmice in the nest on the left. A House Wren apparently removed the young (no trace around, but that is not unusual, as predators often take young tossed onto the ground.) An Eastern Bluebird nest had at least two eggs. Both were on the ground (see photos on the right) four days later. Both of these boxes had wren guards on them, which were put up before any House Wren activity appeared in the box. Wren Guards are obviously not 100% effective, but have done a good job protecting some Black-capped Chickadee nests on my trail.
Unfortunately Tufted Titmouse and House Wren habitat often overlaps. House Wrens are the biggest predator on my trails.
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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