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It’s not just the many UNC and Duke alum flashing their native colors, nature is also sporting its blue as well. Since all of the seemingly endless ice and sleet “events” might have finally given way to the beginning of spring, the Eastern Bluebird has decided it’s safe to come out into the open and begin nesting in our local bluebird boxes.

There are 40 bluebird boxes located around the walking trails of the Research Triangle Park. These boxes were originally erected as part of a conservation movement to help out the little birds after their population declined rapidly in the twentieth century. This decline was mainly due to the loss in habitat because of increased deforestation. However, with conservation efforts popping up all around similar to ours, the little guys have made a comeback and continue to nest, feed, and fly all around RTP.

Each spring, all of the 40 bluebird boxes are available for adoption by RTP employees. Once adopted, the box is yours to take care of! Adopters check in on their box once a week during nesting season and report back their findings. We then pass these on to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to inform their bluebird tracking program though citizen science! Sounds pretty cool, right? The best part, however, is checking on the box and witnessing the first little tiny blue eggs. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see the little eggs hatch, and grow into tiny birds called fledglings before they leave the nest. Since this could happen up to three times a season in each box, there’s a good chance you’ll get a front-row seat to RTP’s nature!

See a bluebird in the Park? Snap a picture and tweet it @TheRTP! For more information on the bluebird adoption program, please fill out this form and Abby Gingrich will get back to you on how to get involved!