At its core, the Girl Scouts is about leaving a place better than we found it. Girl Scout troop 20354 out in Little Falls has been working hard toward their Bronze Award, which touches on the subject of conservation.

“[They] recently went to the Herkimer Home to place birdhouses in the back fields to help rejuvenate the American Bluebird population,” Troop Leader Holly Pelzer wrote. “Also the Herkimer home gets birdwatchers from the area that will be able to enjoy the birds that habitat the houses.”

As far as conservation status, the American Bluebird has been move to “Least Concern.” It’s because of continued efforts, like those of Troop 20354, which help it remain that way. Today, the American Bluebird populations have been on the rise, up from a dramatic decline in the early 20th Century when new species were being introduced to the North American Continent, such as European Starlings and House Sparrows. These species made nest holes difficult for bluebirds to hold onto.

In the 1960s and 1970s, efforts to provide relief to this bird from the unnatural selection humans had brought helped breathe new life into a population verging on extinction. The establishment of bluebird trails and nest box campaigns have helped reduce competition from non-native species and led to a thriving population.

If you want to learn more about birds and other conservation efforts, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a sanctuary where people can go to observe these creatures, which make up such an important part of our ecosystem.

We want to know what our Girl Scouts are up to. Email photos and a short description to Natalie Shoemaker @ nshoemaker@gsnypenn.org.

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