Bluebird season begins in May.

As May draws near, volunteers for the Vancouver Avian Research Centre (VARC) will be cleaning up bird boxes across the Nicola Valley.

VARC has 400 bird boxes scattered across the Nicola Valley and surrounding areas for its bluebird box project.

Fifty of the new bird boxes were made with donations from Merritt Home Hardware and are assembled by Merritt resident Ron Stolp. He creates 40 new boxes annually.

Carol Matthews, VARC public outreach & treasurer,  says the bluebird box project is vital to bird conservation efforts in Merritt. 

“It’s hard, obviously, always to measure the specific impact, but the fact that they’ve lost over the decades, so much of their natural nesting habitat, without the boxes, they would be in worse trouble than they are today.”

VARC is currently looking for volunteers in Merritt for the bluebird box project. “We’re always interested in additional volunteers to do the nest box checks, we’re always interested in donations,” said Matthews. “And we’re also always interested in people that want to get involved by helping us with data entry, there’s many ways people can volunteer.”

“We do try and attend as many as possible of the Merritt Street Fairs, so people can get information there,” said Matthews. “If people are interested in coming on watching us do the banding a little bit later in the season, then I’d be happy for them to contact me and we will arrange for them to meet at the appropriate time and location to watch the banding take place.”