Denise Gallier of Mechanicsville, VA took this photo at 7:30 p.m. at a neighbor's paper box. There are many bluebirds in the area looking for a place to nest, and she has seen a number of them going in and out of paper boxes. The neighbor did put a sign up telling people not to put any literature in the box. House Sparrows are also a problem in this area, however Denise has not seen any nesting in a paper box.
Donna Spray had a similar incident last year at her brother-in-laws house. She installed a nestbox 10 feet behind the paperbox, put the nest (without eggs) in it, and the bluebirds moved over and successfully raised their young in it.
The shot below (by Rob Barron of VA) shows how the nest cup was built way in the back of a newspaper box. (This particular nest was abandoned, possibly because there are four barn cats in the area).
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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