By installing nest boxes, especially with predator safeguards, in areas that have fewer trees and tree cavity creators, such as Acorn Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers, we increase the chance of keeping a healthy natural balance of native birds and the other species that interact with them, which in turn supports a diverse natural habitat. Agricultural lands offer few natural cavities, so artificial cavities allow more birds to help with pest control.
Many of the birds that use our nest boxes are natural ‘pest control specialists’, eating volumes of insects and/or rodents. On average, Bluebirds consume about 12 percent of their body weight daily, much of that being insects. That’s the equivalent to a 200-pound human eating 24 pounds of food a day. A family of Barn Owls can consume about 3000 rodents in a breeding season alone. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes the barn owl is the most economically beneficial species to humans. Imagine how much more beneficial it would be for our landscapes to support these creatures with nest boxes, instead of using pesticides and poisons as our method of rodent control.