Naturalists in Salmon Arm, B.C., are concerned after bird boxes for nesting were targeted in a series of escalating incidents of vandalism.
The attacks also resulted in smashed eggs and the death of one bird.
The damage is particularly upsetting to area nature lovers because the bird boxes were installed in Salmon Arm Bay as part of a concerted effort to increase the number of songbirds in the area.
The first incident occurred in April.
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Then more bird boxes were in hit in May in two separate incidents.
Aitken described the latest attack on the bird boxes, last week, as “far more aggressive.”
She said one swallow was killed.
“It’s very very sad because we have made such an effort to increase the population of the swallows and the songbirds.”
The damage has been reported to the police, the Conservation Officer Service, and Environment Canada, but so far there are no suspects.
“This is a very rare occurrence for us. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve received a complaint of this nature. It is very odd and disturbing to hear that somebody is destroying bird boxes and nests,” Conservation Officer Mike Richardson said.
In total, there have been more than 30 incidents of bird boxes being vandalized, including some incidents in which boxes that had been repaired or replaced were then damaged again.
While the boxes have been repaired or replaced, the incidents are expected to have an impact on the local bird population.
While naturalists hope the birds will be left alone, in case the culprit does return, additional cameras are being set up to monitor the area.