Crafting Homes for Wake County Bluebirds

March 28, 2024, Department, by Sarah Goldsmith

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South Wake Conservationists (SWC), a chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, has taken another significant step in their ongoing mission to support local wildlife and conservation efforts. On March 29, 2023, SWC members gathered at Wake County’s Crowder County Park in Apex to unveil their latest contribution to the community: a series of custom-branded bluebird houses.

The initiative was a collaborative effort between SWC and myself, the park technician of education at Crowder County Park. Together, we identified 11 aging and deteriorating bluebird houses that were no longer suitable for nesting. It was time for these old structures to make way for new, more hospitable homes for the local bluebird population.

At the heart of this project was Jeff Allen, an SWC member. Allen’s unique pole and critter-guard design, handcrafted in his own home, became a central feature of the new bluebird houses. Not stopping at the housing, he also branded each of the new boxes with the SWC logo, giving them a personalized touch that reflected the care and dedication of the conservationists.

The team removed the aging structures and worked diligently to install the new bluebird boxes throughout Crowder Park, strategically placing them in locations conducive to bluebird nesting and breeding. Since the installation of the new bluebird houses, Crowder Park has experienced a dramatic increase in bluebird sightings and reported nests. The 11 new houses have been instrumental in hosting a total of 78 bluebirds during the current mating season, and it’s anticipated that more feathered tenants will move in soon.

SWC members added native berry-producing plants to Crowder Park’s gardens, providing a natural food source for the local birds, and an interpretive bird sign to educate visitors about the local bird species. The team assisted in the removal of invasive plant species, ensuring the bluebirds would not only have a beautiful new home, but also bountiful meals.

These efforts have provided a new lease on life for the local bluebird population and created a beautiful and educational space for park visitors to enjoy, demonstrating how community-driven conservation efforts can have a profound and lasting impact on both the environment and the wildlife that calls it home.

Sarah Goldsmith is Park Technician of Education, Wake County (North Carolina) Parks, Recreation and Open Space