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Rita Shultz - Friend to Bluebirds

Every person's yard can be an important bird area!
© JanetAndPhil Flickr.com/dharma_for_one View Large

Rita Shultz, a rural mail carrier outside of Richmond, Virginia, says, "Every person's yard is an important bird area!" When Rita discovered that Eastern Bluebirds were nesting in some of the newspaper delivery boxes on her route – and that many customers were throwing the nests out – she went into high gear. Rita asked all the people on her route if she could put up bluebird boxes on their property. More than half of them agreed! After Rita and a friend put up the boxes, the bluebirds moved quickly from the old boxes to the new ones, tailor-made for them. Thanks, Rita, for making life a bit easier for bluebirds!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Rita Shultz - Friend to Bluebirds

Written by Ellen Blackstone

This is BirdNote. 

[Song of Eastern Bluebird]

We've talked about "Important Bird Areas" many times here on BirdNote. Well, Rita Shultz, a rural mail carrier outside of Richmond, Virginia, says, "Every person's yard is an important bird area!" Here's her story, first told in Audubon Magazine. 

[Crunch of gravel and squeak of mailbox opening and closing]

Many customers on Rita's mail route also have newspaper delivery boxes, open at one end. When Rita discovered that Eastern Bluebirds were nesting in the boxes – and that many customers were throwing the nests out – she went into high gear. [Song of Eastern Bluebird] Rita asked all the people on her route if she could put up bluebird boxes on their property. More than half of them agreed! 

After Rita and a friend put up the boxes, the bluebirds needed no coaxing. They moved quickly from the old boxes to the new ones, tailor-made for them. [Song of Eastern Bluebird]

But there have been challenges. Rita's mail route runs along the James River, home to many black snakes. Inevitably, snakes found their way into the bluebird boxes. Not a good thing for bluebirds. She won't kill a snake, mind you – her parents raised her to respect all wildlife. So what was her solution? Rubbing Vick's Vapo-Rub on the base of the pole. Snakes, it seems, have no taste for Vick's.

Rita, thank you for making life a little easier for bluebirds!

For BirdNote, I'm Michael Stein.

[Song of Eastern Bluebird]

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Eastern Bluebird recorded by W.L. Hershberger #107204

Ambient by W.L. Hershberger #107204.

Mailbox and mail truck recorded by C. Peterson

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org    February 2013   Narrator: Michael Stein

 

ID#    shultzr-01-2013-02-26 shultzr-01    

Marantz 169 and 171 

Sights & Sounds

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