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Feb. 15, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Winging it: Macoskey offers bluebird workshop

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research will offer a free, expert-taught bluebird workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, March 2, at the center. Participants will learn about bluebird habitats, gain knowledge of strategies for attracting the songbird to their background and build a nest box for use at home.

Harry Schmeider, president of the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania and Butler County coordinator, will present "The Fledging Experience" all about bluebirds.

Schmeider's presentation will start with an introduction of the three bluebirds native to North America. He will show their territories and help participants understand why the species needs human assistance today to survive.

He will discuss their history, biology, courtship behavior, how they select a nest site, egg laying, brooding and other essential aspects of successful bluebird habitats. Bluebirds are a nest cavity, medium-sized bird with blue or blued and red plumage.

Schmeider will share his ideas for attracting bluebirds to backyards and discuss the many other nest cavity birds that will use nest boxes. He will also troubleshoot about problems often associated with bluebird nest boxes, such as cats. He will display a nest box mounted on a pole to demonstrate proper predator guards.

Schmeider will discuss the "do's and don'ts" of blue birding and conclude with a question-and-answer session.

Organizers said his goals are to give the audience a greater understanding and compassion toward nest cavity birds and to install quality nest boxes with appropriate predator guards and monitoring with a reporting system.

An outline of the program will be provided at the workshop.

Forty seats are available for the bluebird workshop. Contact the center at 724.738.4050 to register. SRU's Macoskey Center is an 83-acre property on campus dedicated to sustainability education, demonstration and research.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.