Growing the Gulf Coast: Local chemical plant rebuilds bird habitats

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THEODORE, Ala. (WKRG) — Eastern Bluebirds have been almost wiped out in the past due to human expansion and house sparrows preying on them, but they have made a big comeback in the past few decades.

Evonik is a chemical plant in Mobile County, and they are working hard to be sure these birds continue to have a home here locally.

“We have a lot of property, these animals… they are our neighbors. They live here,” said Helen Bush, director of supply chain in Evonik Healthcare.

In late 2020, Evonik decided to redo their existing wood bird boxes so these birds would stick around. However, the Coronavirus pandemic interfered and kept employees from getting together to repair these habitats, so the company adapted.

Employees took home kits and, with their families, built seventy-five new wood birdhouses. Fifty of these were dispersed on the property with the other twenty-five being kept as backups.

This past nesting season, Brian Bennett with the Environmental Health and Safety Department at Evonik says two-thirds of the wood boxes were used, and they are hoping all of them will be used this upcoming nesting season by all different species.

“It was really nice to be able to see,” Bennet said. “Here at our front entrance, it’s like they knew, ‘this is where they are going to watch us’ and so they would nest there. They would sit on the box, and kind of show off, and let us know that they appreciated it too.”

Evonik says employees are requesting more bird box kits. They intend to build different kinds of habitats to attract more birds, ducks and even bats. They are working hard to be sure these birds are never in danger of being wiped out again.  

To build your own bird box, follow the diagram below provided to us by Evonik!

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