Earlier this year, Ken Knapp was recognized by the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania as the “Bluebirder of the Year” for his work at Latodomi Nature Center in North Park, Allegheny County, PA.
Ken trained as a PMN volunteer in 2018 and has spent many hours over the past few years locating, cleaning, fixing, and registering 361 bluebird boxes to help native bird populations. Since 2020, fledglings have increased almost fourfold! Ken attributes the fledglings’ success to a few factors:
“We deployed 175 new boxes into great bluebird territories (while taking some old or poorly placed boxes out), even expended outside the park. We mostly now have pretty dedicated monitors that visit their boxes weekly. We tagged each box with a label that has a QR code the monitor can scan to submit their findings systematically. It’s been a fun initiative.”
Ray Morris, fellow PA Master Naturalist who nominated Ken for the award, said, “Not only has Ken involved more than 50 people as monitors, but he is also the glue that has developed and held this ongoing program together.” Ken reports the number of volunteers has increased this year to 77!
Ken also presented at the Bluebird Society’s Annual Conference in March.