Using GIS Mapping to Examine Influence of Forest and Box Spacing on Bluebird Nesting Success (page 4)
Relationship to Forest
The successful and unsuccessful bird boxes all had a different relationship to the forest. In our background information it stated that a bird's ideal habitat would be in fields and orchards. From this information I hypothesized that boxes near the forest would be unsuccessful.
From the data collected from measuring the distance from box to forest I found out many things. One thing that I found was most unsuccessful bird boxes were less than about 200 meters away from the forest. I also found that successful boxes were all over 200 meters away. Some reasons I think bird boxes closer than 200 feet were unsuccessful are there are many predators that live in the forest. For Example, snakes and raccoons are all forest predators and near the forest the birds can't see them coming. If the box were in the field however there would be more time to see predators coming. Competitors are also a reason that bird boxes near forest are unsuccessful. This is mainly because many forest birds compete with bluebirds for nest boxes.
Relationship to Other Boxes
Territory size had large impact on the success of the boxes. My background information states that most bluebirds like their boxes to be at least 300 feet (91 meters) away. Therefore I hypothesized those boxes less than 300 feet to be unsuccessful.
From the data I collected I found that bird boxes that were about 200 feet (60 meters) and farther were successful. Therefore my hypothesis was significantly close to the data gathered. My background information also says that around breeding season the birds expect to have 2-3 acres to themselves and are very territorial which is a reason that successful bird boxes were so far away from each other.
Since many outcomes in this project are yet to be understood I have probably raised more questions that I have just answered. Hopefully, I will continue studying the birds and their actions and find answers to many of my questions. One thing I could possibly do in order to see if the Bluebirds like to nest away from a forest or not would be to perform an experiment. I could place ten boxes near the forest and then have a control group and put ten boxes away near fields and open areas. I could then find out which place they prefer. I have to also replace and move many boxes. Boxes that were too clustered should be moved apart and boxes that were near open bodies of water I should move t the inner part of coves. Boxes that were never there should also be built and put up. I hope that next year the changes will be put into effect so they can be more successful than the year before them.
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