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In the past several years, members of the Franklin Bird Club have made great contributions to the Greenway.  These have included financial donations, volunteer time spent triming and weeding, and offering weekly bird walks for the community.

But two, easily seen, FBC donations to the Greenway are the Purple Martin House–now fully occupied–from Bob Gilbert, and this year’s new nesting boxes from Jim and Ellen Shelton.

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The Puple Martin complex is found near the Community Garden and was installed by Terry Browning and George James.

Though it took a bit of time the Purple Martins are now enjoying their new lodgings– and getting acquainted with their neighbors. DSC_5874

This spring, with funds collected from the FBC, Jim Shelton built 12 cedar bird boxes, including 4 Blue Bird, 4 House Wren and 4 Tree Swallow boxes.  He and Ellen installed them along the Greenway on posts with stove-pipe, predator guards.

By summer, 11 out of the 12 were in use, with nestlings or eggs from 5 different species occupying them.  Jim estimates a total of 2 hours was spent building and installing each box.  The boxes are monitored by George Kaye and by Jim and other birders on the Wednesday Bird Walks.

IMG_1248Tree Swallow in Jim's box Greenway 053117 (4)

Thanks to Bob, Jim and Ellen, the Greenway continues to welcome and provide additional shelter for our feathered friends.–sf

2 thoughts on “FBC Greenway Successes

  1. George–Thanks for your comments and information on the nest boxes. I’m sure that many of us didn’t have any idea there were so many or who had provided them. Thank you also for monitoring and caring for the boxes. I have a feeling there are many “unsung heros”, like you, caring for the Greenway.–sf

  2. Good post about nestboxes.
    I have located about 50 nestboxes on the Greenway. There are clusters at the Community Garden, Library, Big Bear and Salali. Others are ” hidden” on access roads to the Greenway and along the Disc Golf Course, among other places.
    Wow, are they popular with birds! I would say 3/4 of them were used by birds. In a few cases, the nest was abandoned before eggs were layed..
    Many were put there years ago. I have cleaned all of them out and repaired or replaced those that were damaged. I heard that some were put up as Boy Scout projects.
    As stated, Jim and Ellen’s team put up 12 recently. Highlands Audubon put up 6, which are monitored by WCU graduate students for their research projects. Sunny Himes put up 6 as part of a Virginia Spirea plant project. I put up 6 new ones.
    Although the nesting season is drawing to a close, there are still a few bluebirds raising young.
    Right now, my primary job is clearing ant nests out of the boxes. I must have found a dozen ant nests.
    The boxes are used by Chicadees, Bluebirds, House Wrens, and Tree Swallows. We have really helped their population numbers!
    I hope everyone will put up nestboxes in their back yards. When Franklin boxes are combined with the 100+ boxes put up by Highlands Audubon in Highlands, Cashiers and Sapphire, we are talking big numbers.

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