Local Research

Spring 2020

Research Question: Will more dense populations of clovers benefit cavity-nesting birds by attracting insects to clover blooms?  

Bluebirds appear to be most attracted to environments with more clovers and lower growing vegetation about 80' away from larger trees, especially during early nesting season. 

Chickadees and tree swallows appear to prefer more diverse field environments. Tree swallows have demonstrated a preference to be more near water, where chickadees tend to choose nesting sites within 50' of mature trees. 

Preliminary Findings

Incorporating more crimson and white clovers does appear to support the unusually early nesting habits of cavity-nesting birds. This is reflected in a 26% increase of bluebird eggs laid and fledging observations during spring 2020. 

An increase in chickadee and tree swallow egg laying & fledging also increased, but the 14% increase was noticeably less than bluebirds. 

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