[BCNnet] Tree tubes and bird mortality (no sightings)
BFisher928 at aol.com
BFisher928 at aol.com
Tue Apr 10 09:46:12 CDT 2012
Illinois birders and bird conservationists.
BCN has been actively working with northeastern Illinois forest preserve
districts to solve the problem of birds getting trapped in fishing line
disposal tubes at district fishing lakes (Cook County has made good progress,
DuPage is fixing it now). But the messages below from the Wisconsin birding
listserv are an indicator that tree tubes and uncapped fence posts can also
be tempting and lethal traps for cavity nesters.
Sorry for the cross postings, but I thought this information would be
useful to the birding and bird conservation community.
One thought occurred to me as I read these posts: Stuffing a plastic bag
into the top of tree tubes would be a quick way to prevent a bird from
getting down into the tubes. Presumably there are other, better preventions?
From: "Tom Schultz" <trschultz at centurytel.net>
Subject: [wisb] A word of warning - Tree tubes
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 11:24:17 -0500
I just received a phone call from a friend who recently experienced a
tragedy with a plastic tree tube. (These translucent plastic tubes are
frequently used to protect young sapling trees from deer damage.) They
checking their tubes to look for budding leaves and unfortunately
a couple of dead bluebirds inside. Fortunately a third bluebird inside was
still alive, and it flew away when the tube was raised. All three birds
appeared to be females, due to duller plumages. The tube was apparently
located not far from a bluebird box, and they have often seen bluebirds
using the tubes as perches.
I had not heard previously of this potential danger to birds, but I
it might be a good idea to put a warning out. A good solution would
probably be to put netting or something similar over the tops of these
to prevent birds from entering.
Green Lake Co.
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 12:54:58 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Sharon Reilly <reillyhi at earthlink.net>
Subject: [wisb] Re: A word of warning - Tree tubes
Unfortunately tubes have been a well documented hazard to the small birds
that are cavity nester. But obviously this threat is not well known to the
general public. Birds can get inside the tube but cannot get back out. Just
think of all those open-ended fence posts in your neighborhood (no cap on
them). Almost guaranteed to have a dead bird inside.
I have personal experience with open-ended metal fence posts being death
traps. And since learning about this problem have tried over the years to
educate even the conservation organizations I worked for about capping all
fence posts! Not only do they attract birds but they can also be a suitable
site for unwanted species like bees and wasps.
Here's a story to show you the unfortunate SCALE of this preventable loss
- from the ABC on the mining stakes in Nevada.
But every citizen should be aware of similar TUBES like tree protectors,
fence posts. Anything with a small opening can be attractive to a cavity
nester. If it is smooth on the inside the bird cannot climb out and if it is
too small the bird cannot open its wings; it is a death trap and impossible
for the bird to escape.
You can save the lives of thousands of birds by passing this bit of
information on to your friends and neighbors. If you need to use a tube be sure
it is large enough in diameter for a bird to fly out, or put a mesh screening
on the inside. I know it's a lot of trouble for some people, but it is the
only way to make them safe for birds.
Baraboo, Sauk County
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