Girl Scouts Build Birdhouses


Birdhouse_2011-KThe Scouts in Girl Scout Junior Troop 547 of Manhasset had a mission, and neither rain nor high wind was going to stop them from accomplishing it. The Scouts, all fifth-graders at Munsey Park Elementary School, spent weeks constructing birdhouses to the exact specifications necessary to attract a particular species: bluebirds. Under the guidance of their troop leaders, Jennifer Giordano and Melissa Chiovitti, the girls learned about bluebird life cycles, breeding seasons, favored habitats and natural enemies (as well as how best to protect the birds from those predators).
After discovering where bluebirds like to make their nests, finding a home for the finished birdhouses was the next order of business. Because bluebirds favor open spaces on slight elevations, the girls immediately thought of the perfect location for their birdhouses: the grounds of the Science Museum of Long Island, located on the Leeds Pond Preserve.
On Feb. 24, braving the rain and wind, the troop arrived at the museum, found the perfect sites for their birdhouses and then (with the help of one strong dad and his sledgehammer) drove poles with houses affixed to the tops more than three feet into the ground. All were relieved to learn that the birdhouses were still standing the next day.
The Scouts will return in May when the first nesting season is over and the fledglings have left their nests. They will clean out the birdhouses to ready them for a second nesting season, and return again after that to perform the same “housekeeping” tasks.
Next time you visit the Preserve, do look for an increased number of bluebirds. If you spot any, you can join the museum staff in thanking Troop 547 for their enthusiastic dedication to the cause they chose for 2016: “Saving the bluebirds, one birdhouse at a time.”

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