House Hunting: What a Bluebird Looks For in a Home (page 2)
Looking at my Background Information, I predict that the elements for a good bluebird habitat consists of water, trees or forests, fields, and power lines. The water is essential, because all living things need it to survive. Bluebirds build homes in cavities of trees, and perch on the branches. Trees also provide protection and cover for this small bird. I believe that the bluebird chooses to builds its nest near open fields to obtain the materials for it such as dry grass, etc. I also believe that the open fields allow this territorial bird to watch out for enemies, and competing birds. I think power lines offer another form of a perch for the bluebird to watch over its home. That is my hypothesis.
Materials for Monitoring Bluebird Boxes
- 45 – 50 bluebird boxes
- Data book
- Dry grass
- Plastic bag
Materials for Finding the Habitat of the Bluebird Box
- Measuring Tape
- 45 – 50 bluebird boxes
- Data sheet or book
Procedure for Monitoring Bluebird Boxes
- First, put the gloves on your hands and open bluebird box.
- If you find tree swallow, chickadee, or bluebird eggs, count the number of eggs in the nest, and write the specie of bird and how many eggs. If you find house sparrow eggs, take the plastic bag and put the eggs in there. Smash the eggs, so that they will not hatch and attack tree sparrows, bluebirds, and chickadees.
- If bluebird, tree sparrow, or chickadee young is found, put the bluebirds carefully in one hand. With the other hand, gather dry grass and put it in the wooden cup of the bluebird box. Next, put the young in the improved nest. This will make it healthier for the young. Then, write down the specie of bird found, and how many young were found. Wait for seven to ten days for the bluebirds to fledge. If house sparrows are found put them in the plastic bag and suffocate them.
- Repeat this for all of the bluebird boxes.
Procedure for Finding the Habitat of the Bluebird Boxes
- Using the measuring tape, measure the height of the bluebird box from the ground.
- Next, take a compass and find the direction the bluebird box faces in degrees.
- Next, estimate the distance the bluebird box is from water, telephone pole, road, tree, forest, and field, all in feet. If it is close enough to the bluebird box, find the accurate measurement.
- Repeat for all of the bluebird boxes. Sort data into a spreadsheet.
Overall, my data showed whether or not selected variables reflected bluebird habitat. The data indicators I used to find this were the mean, median, correlation and its graph pattern of each bluebird box. I found the distance the bluebird boxes were from a field, forest, powerline, road, water, and a tree. Then I found the height of each box and the direction each box faced.
According to the chart above, the field habitat was applicable for all of the data indicators. This habitat had a negative correlation, a graph pattern, and a difference in the mean and median between boxes with bluebirds and those without them. Although the correlation was negative (-0.33), the graph pattern had many boxes with a larger amount of bluebirds living within 1 to 20 feet away from a field. The mean distance of boxes with bluebirds is 18 feet, and 73 feet for the boxes without bluebirds. This shows that the average bluebird must live near a field. The median distance for the boxes with bluebirds is 4.5 feet and without bluebirds is 60 feet. This shows that the bluebirds tend to live near a field.
The data I next looked at was the distance from a forest. This has a positive correlation of 0.37. The mean distance for boxes with bluebirds in them is 106 feet, and without bluebirds is 53 feet. This is a major difference. The median for boxes with bluebirds is 90 feet, and the median for those without bluebirds is 25 feet. Lastly, the graph pattern started narrow at the base, but grew and spread out "upward." However, many boxes had no bluebirds in them around a forest area. This proves that a bluebird really does not live in a forest habitat.
Next, I looked at the data for the bluebird box height. This did not have any data indicators because these boxes were man- made and most of the boxes were five to six feet above the ground. This variable did not really exist.
After looking at box height, I looked at the direction each box faced. This, similar to box height, did not really appear as a variable because none of the boxes had a certain graph pattern, and correlation. There was not a mean or median for direction.
Power lines are not a part of a bluebird's habitat. When looking at the median and mean for this variable, the boxes with bluebirds had a greater distance in feet than the boxes without bluebirds.
There are no data indicators to show that a road is part of the bluebird habitat. All but five bluebirds on the trail that I monitored were near a road. Considering this, it was difficult to determine whether a road was a habitat variable.
The main data indicator for the distance from water was the median. The median was 1300 feet between water and the boxes with bluebirds. However, for boxes without bluebirds, the median was 2500 feet. The larger of the two numbers reflects the boxes without bluebirds. This means water is a major part of a bluebird's habitat.
The final variable I measured was the distance from a tree. The data indicator I used to find whether or not it was a part of a bluebird's habitat was the graph pattern, of which there was no correlation. The mean and the median readings of boxes with bluebirds and those boxes without bluebirds are very close. The graph pattern shows that many bluebird boxes are close to a tree. Some boxes contained a lower number of bluebirds, while others had higher totals of bluebirds. However, it appears that there are more boxes without bluebirds closer to trees than those with bluebirds.