HARRISBURG – As development continues to take over wildlife habitats, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Howard Nursery has a way for wildlife enthusiasts to help support wildlife housing needs without having to apply for a second mortgage. The agency’s Howard Nursery is selling a variety of wildlife nesting structures for several species of birds – from bluebirds to flickers, from ducks to owls – as well as housing boxes for bats and squirrels.
“According to Pennsylvania’s Wildlife Action Plan, development consumes more than 300 acres of Pennsylvania’s landscape per day,” said Carl G. Roe, Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director. “Although we can’t keep pace with losses caused by urban and suburban sprawl, the Game Commission is working hard to preserve and improve habitat on its more than 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands and other public and private lands.
“For years, our Howard Nursery has been constructing a number of different wildlife nesting structures for placement on State Game Lands and to provide to private landowners enrolled in the agency’s three cooperative public access programs. To enable private landowners to lend a hand to wildlife, we also are offering for sale a variety of nesting boxes, beyond the popular bluebird boxes.”
Homeowners – the human kind, that is – can view the entire selection of nesting structures for sale on the Game Commission’s Web site by clicking on “General Store” in drop-down menu bar under the homepage banner, clicking on “Howard Nursery” and then choosing “Wildlife Homes Order Form.” The two-page brochure and order form list the nesting structures by habitat type, to guide landowners in determining which nesting structure is best suited for their property.
Available nesting structures, listed by habitat types, along with the approximate size (in inches) and prices, are as follows:
Open Land or Woodland Margins – American kestrel box, 24x12x10, $20; gray and fox squirrel box, 22x12x13, $31; bluebird, chickadee or wren box, 14x6x8, $9; northern flicker box, 32x8x12, $40; bat box, 36x25x10, $95; or winter roosting box (can be used by chickadees, wrens, nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers or bluebirds), 30x10x12, $30.
Hardwood Forests – barred owl box, 33x18x16, $50.
Farmlands or Open Lands – barn owl box, 41x17x12, $55; northern flying squirrel, 9x9x13, $25.
Wetlands and Associated Uplands – wood duck box, 31x12x12, $31; or mallard duck box, 24x13x13, $27.
Prices listed do not include shipping/handling costs, which range from $9 to $22 per unit, plus applicable state sales taxes. All boxes come assembled and with instructions on where and how to place. The bluebird, chickadee, wren nesting box can be either fully constructed or provided in an unassembled kit complete with nails and screws.
Once an order is received, a representative from the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery will contact the customer to confirm the order and discuss scheduled shipping dates. Completed orders can be mailed (post office boxes are not acceptable for delivery), or arrangements can be made for customers to pick up their orders at Howard Nursery.