April 19, 2013


My Earth Day resolution is to create a safe haven for bluebirds in my neighborhood. ‘Really?” you might ask. ‘With everything that is going on with our environment, Seymour Simon decides to make a difference by putting up a blue bird box?’

It’s a fair question, but let me tell you why one small act like this one is important. The existence of the Eastern Bluebird, our New York State bird, has been threatened in recent years by the loss of open land and the presence of European starlings, a non-native species that was introduced to NY in the 1890’s. These birds are are strong and aggressive, and they have taken over the little hollows in trees where bluebirds commonly lay their eggs. And where previously the lovely bluebird was a common sight, in recent years it was rare to see one at all.

Last summer, I noticed that there was a bird that perched nearly every morning at the very top of the spruce tree in my front yard. I didn’t recognize its song, so one day I pulled out my binoculars and saw to my surprise that it was a bluebird!

So this spring, the time of year when bluebirds lay their eggs, I have put a bluebird box right next to that tree. (Thanks to my friend Jody Soules at the Wild Birds Country Store in Great Barrington, MA for introducing me to the ways of bluebirds). The hole is similar to the size that the birds used to look for in the tree hollows, and the copper “sleeve” around the hole will prevent those pesky squirrels from chewing their way in to steal the eggs. I am hopeful that the bird that visited last summer will return with his or her mate and start a family!

I am telling this story because the everyday choices that we each one makes have an impact on the neighborhood where we live, whether we live in the city, in a suburb, or far out in the country. No one of us can solve all the problems facing our environment. But each one of us can make a difference with the choices we make every day.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, birds, Conservation, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)   •  Share: