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Feeding birds, adding birdhouses is uplifting to community

Posted 15 April 2020 at 8:19 am

Editor:

On Tuesday, April 7, a male American kestrel was seen 4 miles west of Albion. That afternoon, Mike Elam helped put up a kestrel box on a nearby pole. The next day, both a male and female were seen going to the box. It was—of course—a box meticulously handcrafted by out of “work” Albion Betterment Committee gas pumper, “Wink” Winkelmann!

“Wink” has made numerous wood duck, kestrel/screech owl, bluebird and chickadee boxes.  The bigger ones are often put up with the help of people such as Mike.

But there are no guarantees. A kestrel was spotted on the light pole at Hojack’s that same week. The box that went up on that pole was quickly taken over by invasive starlings. Most bluebird boxes are occupied by opportunistic, invasive house (English) sparrows. Of our six boxes, only one has a bluebird nest. Bluebirds are, by the way, identifiable by their flight pattern and their vocalizations.

One thing can be counted on. Speed kills. It kills people and innumerable animals, including birds. I can provide a long list of those I have found.

So . . . if you cannot uplift your spirits by providing cover, leaving things such as staghorn sumac standing, thoughtfully feeding the birds and erecting nest boxes for cavity nesters*, at least slow down and be considerate of things with wings that can uplift us in many ways.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Kent

Albion

*such as nuthatches, chickadees, wood ducks, American kestrels, woodpeckers, titmice, screech owls and Eastern bluebirds