Nixa Hardware

Learn to build bluebird boxes with MDC on Jan. 20

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The best assortment of bird houses we’ve seen are made by Greg Samuel of Fordland, online at Note the side-opening door and wire over the entrance to help guard against predators.

ASH GROVE, Mo. – For people who live in rural areas, putting up a bluebird nesting box is a great way to entice Missouri’s state bird to take up residence close to home.

Individuals interested in building and putting up bluebird boxes are invited to attend the Missouri Department of Conservation program “Woodworking for Wildlife” on Saturday, Jan. 20, at MDC’s Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center. This free program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The range is at 4897 N. Greene County Farm Road 61 near Ash Grove.

Pdddarticipants will build a bluebird house. MDC staff will explain how all the cuts to make a house can be made out of a single board. The program is for ages 18-up. People can register at People can get more information about upcoming events at the Dalton Range by calling 417-742-4361.

In the wild, bluebirds compete with starlings, house sparrows and other creatures for cavity nesting space. It’s thought this shortage of natural nesting space is one reason bluebirds readily accept appropriately placed man-made nest boxes.

Bluebird boxes work best in rural locations. Most urban settings are too crowded to attract bluebirds. Nest boxes should be placed in open grassy areas that have perching sites. Meadows, pastures or big yards that are not too heavily shaded are ideal. Perching locations can be in the form of fence lines, power lines or nearby trees.

Information about bluebirds and bluebird nest boxes can also be found at

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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