much we love to pamper our
local Bird population, there are certain species that we should be
of. Some Songbird species are on the decline because of one or more of
these predatory species.
the black bib and eye shadow.
House Sparrow/English Sparrow:
is possibly the worst of the
bunch. It belongs to the Finch family. It is very adaptive, aggressive,
and reproductive. It is known to throw other nestlings out of Bird
It will nest in any protected area from lighted
mall marquees to large
building supply warehouses, where it appreciates the water fountains
damaged Bird feed bags.
It is the number one enemy of
the Eastern Bluebird. Many traps and devices have been invented to
them from Bluebird houses, but their similar body size makes it a
Male and Female are very similar
is a tossup for Songbird enemy
number one. It is every bit as aggressive and adaptive as the English
And it must surely be Purple Martin enemy number one.
Most Songbirds have a particular
diet, but these two imports will thrive on burgers and fries in fast
dumpsters, seed from your feeders, bugs from your car bumper, or
grain in livestock manure. Neither requires a Bird house, but will nest
in most protected areas. They are both on the most
wanted list of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which has a
underway to bring back the insect-eating Eastern bluebird.
I have seen the Starling evict
a much larger Flicker from its tree cavity, and drop the Flicker eggs
the ground. In early spring, they often travel in 3's. Its
is very varied and sometimes appears imitative. It is often seen in
flocks with other Birds that are black.
is less well known as
the villain it is. It will rob Bird nests of eggs and nestlings. It
also ruin the fruit and berries in your orchard. And it's a notorious Bird
bath and feeder bully.
are much the same as Blue Jays,
but on a larger scale. They will even pilfer the nest of the Blue Jay.
are not aggressive or adaptable.
They are just clever. They watch a nest from a nearby lookout, and when
the incubating parent leaves the nest for a snack, the Cowbird deposits
her egg in the nest. The Cowbird chick hatches first, grows fastest,
shoves its nest mates from the nest. All the while, the tenants think
is their own nestling, and feed it to adulthood.
eat insects, invertebrates,
eggs, nestlings, lizards, and minnows. And have earned a bad reputation
as a significant pest in corn fields, and also stealing food from other
ground-foraging Birds such as Robins.