Members of the Oneida 4H Kids Club were up bright and early on Saturday March 28 to install birdhouses for bluebirds in Brookfield Forest.
The kids built birdhouses the previous Thursday. Led by Bob Bowe, and assisted by other program leaders, parent volunteers and mentors, 27 members hammered and stapled together 14 of the 20 birdhouses needed to complete the job on Saturday.
The DEC provided the other six houses.
The houses replaced older structures which dated back to 1997 and were starting to rot. According to DEC senior forester Robert Off, who helped with the event, outdoor birdhouses should be constructed from rough cut untreated lumber.
At 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the group, with leaders Ron and Donna Whitbeck departed from North Broad Street school to travel to Brookfield where they met up with Off, who spoke to the group about helping out the bluebird population.
"The discussions for that day primarily revolved around the role people can play in helping our NY State bird continue to thrive in its native habitat through the installation and maintenance of blue bird nest boxes or blue bird trails as they are referred to," Off said. "We talked about the value these nest boxes can have to other song birds that may use the blue bird houses, including tree swallows, house wrens , chickadees and a few other species that have similar nesting requirements."
After some information about the New York State bird and its habitat, Off explained that the kids would be divided into three teams, which went systematically from pole to pole inspecting, then cleaning and removing the old birdhouses. They pounded new poles into the ground and installed the brand new houses on those poles.
At the end of the day, student witnessed a bluebird couple taking advantage of their new home!