According to Kimberly Bauman, director of environmental affairs for Mississippi Lime Co., over the past two years, the company has partnered with the World Bird Sanctuary for a nest box (bird house) study, to determine which bird species were living on company property at its Ste. Genevieve, Mo., plant and which species were successfully breeding.
The 2016 study focused on song birds such as Eastern Bluebirds, House Wrens, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice. Song birds are “cavity nesters” that readily accept nesting boxes.
In 2017, the study was expanded to focus not only on song birds, but also on American Kestrels and Tree Swallows. In both years, more than 100 nest boxes were inspected two to three times monthly from March through August for the presence of eggs and chicks. The eggs and chicks were counted, and if possible, the chicks were banded prior to fledging.
According to World Bird Sanctuary personnel, the Mississippi Lime nest box study has been a great success, with the number of active nests, eggs, chicks and chicks fledging increasing from 2016 to 2017.
The nest box study has demonstrated that many bird species have the ability to nest successfully and thrive near manufacturing operations. The company said it looks forward to continuing the nest box study in 2018.