The next time you think of cleaning up your yard by cutting down large trees and shrubs, consider your seasonal timing.
Removing a tree is a loss at any time of year for many reasons; loss of shade on a 39 degree Celsius day, food for wildlife and slope stabilization. Yet, as I listened to the whine of chainsaws and the roar of the chipper in my neighbourhood today, I also wondered how many baby birds were being ground up into that machine.
May and June are generally peak months for nesting birds, with some continuing or having a second brood into July. Many birds migrate to Penticton from countries south of here for the sole purpose of raising a family during our long days. They are here for only a few months and then migrate back south again.
When a bird puts all that effort and energy into building a nest, laying eggs and feeding young, only to have them tossed into the chipper for someone’s cleanup day, its called a biological sink. It’s also sad. The opportunity to add numbers to their species is gone for that year.
Some nests are so small and inconspicuous that home owners may not even realize they have destroyed a nest.
Think of the hummingbird which lays eggs the size of jelly beans in a nest the size of a toonie. Unfortunately, nest destruction happens on a much larger scale up in the hills. Loaded logging trucks continue to rumble down Carmi Avenue all spring and summer.
We can do something as individuals to protect a small piece of yard habitat. Save your tree removal for the off-season like early spring or fall, when nesting is not in full swing.
Be a nature aware home owner and make a positive contribution to the success of wildlife rather than a negative one done out of ignorance.