Young bird advocate creates a woodpecker cavity to promote dead trees

It is not the first time that 12 year-old Montrose resident and bird advocate, Dessi Sieburth, has broken new ground in his advocacy for birds.  In recent weeks, with the support of his devoted parents, Dessi used a short section of a log to fashion an illustration of what a woodpecker cavity looks like.  This will be his latest tool in teaching his peers about the value of dead trees to woodpeckers and to the many birds that later use their abandoned homes to raise families of their own.

Under the stewardship of Pasadena Audubon’s Youth Program, Dessi has built and faithfully monitored nesting boxes for the Western Bluebird.  This cavity nesting species is one of several whose populations have been impacted in the past decade and a half by the steady removal of dead trees across the landscape.  Nest boxes have helped some birds, as well Dessi knows.  But after hearing a presentation by Gillian Martin of the Cavity Conservation Initiative about the value of dead trees to wildlife, Dessi understood that nest boxes though very helpful, are really a bandaid on the problem.   The removal of this vital nesting habitat could have deeply concerning consequences to birds.  Dessi reached for a new torch.  He decided to create a replica of a woodpecker cavity that Gillian uses for display.  He knew it could speak volumes to kids, as it had to him.

Now when Dessi offers his impressive power point programs about his nest box work, he will have a new tool.  His woodpecker cavity can share the spotlight.  It can effectively tell the story that the retention of dead trees is a more widely beneficial and sustainable goal for a conservation program which targets cavity-nesting birds.   Gillian and volunteers of the Cavity Conservation Initiative applaud Dessi for his inspiring and tireless advocacy for birds.  They also thank  Dessi’s mom, Beatrice, for sharing these delightful photos of Dessi at work!


About the Author