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How to make your yard a nesting haven for area species


Chipping sparrows sail in to perch regularly on the uppermost twig of one in a clump of native eastern red cedars, always a little caterpillar or bug dangling from their beaks. Then they drop down about a foot and duck inside the dense fern-like needles.

And that tells the story. They’re feeding babies in their preferred nesting habitat. Chippers often choose evergreens, usually three to 10 feet up, for nesting. She builds the nest, a really flimsy affair of rootlets and fine grasses lined with fine plant fibers.

Meanwhile, he guards her and the territory against other chippers, allowing other species space as long as they don’t intrude on their nest. In spite of her somewhat skimpy nest construction, she will produce two to seven eggs, brood them for about two weeks, and then the pair will poke all those little green caterpillars and small insects down hungry mouths for nearly another two weeks.


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