Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Bluebird boxes now available for feathered tenants

  • Print

The adage  ‘if you build it, they will come’ isn’t coming true so far in Headingley as 10 new bluebird boxes are either vacant or attracting another type of bird.


But Les McCann, amateur birder and member of the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail Association, said there are still a few weeks left this spring for bluebirds to start building nests in the new boxes put up at intervals along the trail between the Perimeter Highway and Beaudry Provincial Park.


"We will be monitoring the development," he said, adding that no bluebirds had been sighted this spring at any of the many nesting boxes located from Brandon to Riding Mountain National Park.


While the distinctive birds usually return to Manitoba by the middle of March, this year’s unusually late spring and some severe weather in the U.S. may have delayed them, McCann speculated.

He watches for birds during nature walks along the trail that runs along the south side of the municipality and links to the east with Winnipeg’s Harte Trail. Last fall, he proposed that the committee consider building the small wooden nesting boxes in hopes of attracting bluebirds to the Grand Trunk Trail.


Bob Spice volunteered to construct the boxes with instructions from McCann, who said Spice was a good sport as he patiently made a few changes in the design. Each box is built of unpainted cedar with an interior space suitable for nest building.


McCann said all the boxes face east, away from the afternoon sun, and are placed close to a tall tree or wires upon which bluebirds like to perch.


One of the boxes is located close to a rail line, but McCann said bluebirds aren’t disturbed by nearby traffic. However, they aren’t city dwellers, preferring an open prairie environment.


A pair of swallows had moved into one of the boxes, and McCann said they are suitable tenants, but he plans to evict any house sparrows that attempt to nest in the boxes as they aren’t protected by law.

A movement to encourage bluebirds to nest and increase their numbers began a few decades ago as deforestation caused a drop in the North American population. McCann said the population is growing again.


He hopes the natural beauty of Headingley’s Grand Trunk Trail, and the wide variety of birds that can be spotted, will attract birders.


Facebook.com/TheHeadlinerWPG
Twitter: @CanstarHeadline

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Northwest Winnipeg may be getting a new subdivision with homes for 5,400 people. Do you think it’s a good idea?

View Results