San Pablo Park Bluebirds


In February I posted an account of a tree trimming operation in Berkeley's
San Pablo Park resulting in the loss of a Bluebird nest hole; A spot where
Western Bluebirds nested successfully the past two springs.

I contacted the city forester Daniel Gallagher and found him to be quite
sympathetic. He said that had he known in advance, that cavity would have
been spared. The city's Park Director, Susan Ferrera was distressed with the
news and we discussed a nest box to replace the lost cavity.

I made the box, her staff installed in on the tree.

Nearly 3 weeks went by with no sign of the Bluebirds; But they did return,
and now are actively nest building inside the box! I can't express how much
this pleases me.

Some points about city trees, cavities and nest boxes:

The city trims dead branches and branch stumps from street trees and park
trees in an effort to stave off fungal infections that undermine a tree's
long term structural integrity. It's also a liability matter as branches can
snap and fall.

If a nest hole is involved the city forestry department wants to know about

Because the location is a city park, I was told not to mount a ladder. Any
nest box on city park property has to be installed by city staff (a staff
already over committed due to ubiquitous budget cuts). Ms Ferrera responded
to the uniqueness of the Bluebird situation, and said that any further
decision on city park property would be case by case. They want to help, but
resources are limited.

Rusty Scalf