[Tweeters] Solutions for extirpated birds
lostriver at completebbs.com
Mon Jun 6 12:42:53 PDT 2005
Reintroductions are fairly common, but Nighthawks and W. Bluebirds are bad
examples. Both still occur in the Puget Trough. Nighthawks breed in much
of western Washington, but no longer in the heavily developed area. The
(hypothesized) cause is predation of roof top nests by gulls, crows, and
other urban nest predators. Insecticides might be a factor, too.
Nighthawks are all around Seattle and could reestablish themselves if we
knew why they had declined and were willing to take actions to address the
problems. I don't think people are going to stop feeding wild animals, so
the crow and gull populations will likely remain very high.
Bluebirds still nest in the open woodlands in Pierce and Thurston county
and, to a lesser extent, in forest clearings in low elevations of western
Washington. They are excluded from the developed areas where they once
occurred, but could easily reintroduce themselves if the habitat were
appropriate. They don't compete well with House Sparrows and European
Starlings for nest cavities. However, House Sparrows have been declining
steadily over much of their native and introduced range, including Seattle,
and bluebirds have not increased. Bluebirds need insects and like to forage
in brush piles, so they may also be affected by the use of insecticides and
the compulsion of human gardeners to remove all woody debris and dead plant
material from their gardens.
The bottom line is that the easiest of species to reintroduce successfully
are those that declined due to overhunting or some other easily changed
factor. Habitat restoration is much harder.
mailto:lostriver at completebbs.com
More information about the Tweeters