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The Susquehanna River School’s Bird House Project

Grantee: The Susquehanna River School – Harrisburg, PA

Project Title: The Purple Martin Bird House Project

Grant Type: ecoTech

The birds will not consider a home where there is just water and land– they need people nearby. They have become completely dependent on human activity, and it shows in their living preferences.                 – Teacher with The Susquehanna River School

Description:

The Harrisburg Academy worked with the Riverboat Society in Harrisburg, PA to build new housing structures for purple martin birds, a species that had been extirpated from their island home.

These unique birds no longer build natural nests and are dependent on human helpers. With the help of technology, the students will document how many purple martins live in each nest and which designs these birds prefer.

The students built houses and researched ideal placements for them. They continue to work on webcams to monitor the birds’ activity.

Continuous impact/Community engagement: 

The project will continue as the students continue to measure the effectiveness of the homes. This season the students will learn if purple martins will nest in the birdhouses. If the birds do nest and develop into a colony, then the project is infinitely self-sustaining.

Susquehana River Grantee Susquehana River Grantee