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May 1, 2011

The Three Rs message ~ uniquely applied

(Photo by BarrytheBirder)
Two new birdhouses have been added to the UofT's Koffler Scientifiic Reserve, at Jokers Hill, in King Township.   The boxes themselves look ordinary enough, but the perches are rather eye-catching and innovative.   They're spark plugs!   Someone at Jokers Hill has embraced the Three Rs movement (reduce, reuse, recycle).   Perhaps it's the work of John Jensen, Reserve Manager.   Whoever is responsible, good for them.   These two new boxes are unusually high, about 3.5 metres and have been mixed in with several other birdboxes, which are rapidly filling up with Tree Swallows.   One female Bluebird (see photo below) was trying to claim a box this afternoon, but she was constantly harassed and thwarted by the swallows.        
I hope she persists and is still around next weekend when I lead a 'Birding for Beginners' class around and about Jokers Hill.   Anyone interested can check it out at .   Spring has been so tardy in these parts, that there will be little in the way of leaf cover on the deciduous trees, so spotting birds next weekend should be greatly enhanced.   Of course, the birds have to show up.   Today, I spotted a pair of Turkey Vultures, a few Flickers, Tree Swallows and a Bluebird (as just mentioned above), Meadowlark, White-throated and White-crowned sparrows,  lots of Robins, Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, an Eastern Phoebe, plus all the other birds that over-wintered here.   I also heard an Ovenbird.
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