Although both species have been found in Alaska, only Starlings have become established, as yet. Starling nests have been recorded in central and southeastern Alaska, and the species is regularly observed in southcoastal and western Alaska. Starlings and House Sparrows will use nest boxes with entrance holes larger than 1ƽ inches in diameter. Keep a careful watch on your waterfowl, owl, woodpecker, and bluebird nest boxes to be sure that Starlings and House Sparrows do not invade them. (Please report any observation of Starlings or House Sparrows to Alaska Wildlife Observations, c/o University of Alaska Museum, 907 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99701).
Dead trees, or snags, are valuable to a wide variety of wildlife. Unfortunately, many people assume snags are of no value and routinely cut them down. In some places, this practice has caused cavity_nesting bird and mammal populations to decline. Though nest boxes may provide alternate nesting sites for some cavity_nesting birds, they are not suitable replacements for dead trees. Here's why: Snags provide homes for woodpeckers. Woodpeckers use snags for drumming, nesting, roosting, and feeding. Woodpeckers hammer their bills against the resonating surface of dead tree trunks to make a loud drumming sound; this is their courtship and territorial "song."