Editorial: Singing successful praises

Jan. 04, 2014 @ 11:32 PM

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office website, North Carolina has 52 known threatened and endangered species.

When an animal or plant is “endangered,” the Fish & Wildlife and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has determined the danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range is present. When “threatened,” the species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.

Higher listing priorities can push some to become known as candidate species.

The eastern bluebird isn’t on the endangered or threatened list anymore. In fact, just three birds are on the endangered list — the piping plover, red-cockaded woodpecker and the wood stork.

The Eastern Bluebird Rescue Group is a big reason in the success story. All they’ve done for more than 20 years, all the way back to 1989, is build about 1,000 birdhouses at a time, twice a month, and get them distributed through the N.C. State Employees Credit Union.

We’ll save your cellphone the math complication: about 207,000 birdhouses.

Of course, with that success comes another danger: they’re no longer protected.

Frank Newell established the group of volunteers. He’s a former wildlife specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Division. He’s also a licensed state and federal wildlife rehabilitator.

But he’s not alone in the endeavor. The volunteers meet on Mondays, usually the first and third of the month, and build the birdhouses in assembly-line fashion.

The birdhouses are inexpensive, about $10 each, and three out of every four is going out through the credit union.

While the heart of the mission is formed through the rescue group in Warrenton, we’d be remiss not to offer congratulations to the rest of North Carolina. After all, many people have gotten the birdhouses, put them in the beautiful land we call home, and helped rescue this beautiful animal.

The project didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen only because of one man. And it didn’t “just happen.”

This was a love of our world, nurtured through caring minds and hands, where actions prevailed and good intentions didn’t fall short. The “can do” spirit is alive and well, as are the eastern bluebirds.

Success has been realized.