/ Modified feb 18, 2014 8:46 a.m.

Local Group Looks Into Nest Boxes to Help Urban Birds

Tucson Audubon Society's pilot project explores whether such would be a good idea for some species, known to use cavities for nests.


This spring, the Tucson Audubon Society is conducting a nest box pilot project to explore whether nest boxes may be a good idea for some species of birds that live in urban areas, and are known to use cavities for their nests.

Some of the birds considered for the projects are American kestrel, western screech-owl, ash-throated flycatcher, brown-crested flycatcher, bewick's wren, and Lucy's warbler.

Kendall Kroesen and Keith Ashley from TAS investigate what factors should be analyzed when it comes to boxes’ design and location.

“We spent some time investigating scientific literature and then we built some demo boxes,” said Keith Ashley, restoration specialist from Tucson Audubon Society. “We have been reaching out to Audubon members to sort of help us (…) start building boxes.”

Most of the birds TAS members aim to attract are declining, and their habitat have been compromised to some extend.

But a solution to the decreasing numbers could be installation of nest boxes, which after finding food in Tucson and being able to hide from predators, Kroesen said, is sometimes the only thing birds really need.

TAS is working with volunteers to build and mount the nest boxes and monitor their heat and humidity ranges to see if birds can really use them successfully.

“We would like to get boxes up in the next couple of months so that when the birds are ready to breed they have already been able to have a look at what is available,” Ashley said. “Then we are going to have everyone, who has mounted the box, start reporting back to us on whatever it is that they are experiencing (…) with their box.”

TAS aims to have some spices nesting this nesting season but with some boxes it could take longer than that, Ashley said.

*To find out how you can help with the project contact Kendall Kroesen at kkroesen@tucsonaudubon.org, 971-2385 or visit Tucson Audubon Society's website.

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