Bird Conservation Project Taking Flight at Stafford Creek Corrections Center

Blog post by undergraduate research assistant Sarelle Caicedo.

Purple Martins and Western bluebirds are two of the most charismatic birds of the Pacific Northwest. As the newest hands-on project of the Sustainable Prisons Project, inmates at Stafford Creek are constructing bird houses that will serve as habitats for the threatened Purple Martin and Western Bluebirds. The inmates have been enthusiastic about constructing the boxes and learning about the birds they are helping to preserve. To date, 16 Purple Martin boxes have been made and taken to Northwest Trek, where they will be installed and monitored for long-term conservation use. 150 Western Bluebird boxes have already been made and will soon be installed and monitored at various locations. Local lumber retailers (Tumwater Home Depot, Mary’s River Lumber Co., and Windfall Lumber) have donated all of the wood being used to make the boxes, making this project possible.

On April 28th, undergraduate research assistant Sarelle Caicedo and graduate research assistant Carl Elliott will be giving a joint educational lecture at Stafford Creek on Western bluebird and Purple Martin Conservation and Northwest prairie plant ecology. We are hoping that this lecture will increase interest in ornithology and the environment, and that this will kick start a series of future lectures given by undergraduates specializing in ecology and environmental studies at Evergreen.


  1. Jeff Muse

    Way to go, Sarelle!

    This is an excellent senior project — good for birds, good for prisons and good for Evergreen. I wish I could attend your lecture with Carl. Good luck launching the eco-series!


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  2. Kathleen Foley

    Thanks to all who are making this happen! As the organization on the receiving end of the Western bluebird boxes in the San Juan Islands, we are very grateful for the influx of new homes for our translocated birds. With the 150 created for this project this year, we will have over 600 nest boxes that have been built and installed around the islands.

    Kathleen Foley
    Director of Education & Outreach
    The San Juan Preservation Trust

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  3. Agu

    Norman (I forgot his last name), was the parncipil owner of Star. I knew him because he was brother in law to the drummer in my band, John McLaughlin, who now plays for . I visited both his factory and his home which was an octagon dome. John may still have his synare unit given to him by his brother in law. Norm was also the mayor of Stafford Springs for a time. Thanks for the ad I passed it along to John, who I’m still close buds with.

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