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North Dakota Outdoors - Bluebirds

5/10/95



A secluded Benedictine Father. A group of boisterous Boy Scouts. A life of quiet contemplation and lives of almost excessive exhuberance. What could they have in common? More than you might think. A love of wildlife. And of one species, in particular .... the Bluebird.

The scouts ... Troop 11, from Bismarck starts here. It looks a bit like Santa's Workshop. And it is .. if you're a bluebird. The scouts have a special project .. making bluebird houses. The boxes are distributed around the state by Game and Fish.

Father David Wold, at the Assumption Monastery in Richardton, runs a "Bluebird Trail." The abbey's pastures and fencelines are dotted with his bluebird homes. Not one, not two ... there are tweny boxes.

The Father's notes tell him that more bluebirds are returning each year. This "housing project" is a success.

Bluebirds come in two varieties -- the Eastern, and the Mountain. They're easy to tell apart because they look so different. The mountain bluebird is an irridescent blue. The eastern bluebird is a little darker blue with a red or russet breast.

As you would expect, the Father is a keen observer of the "inner life" of his renters. [FATHER} "In many respects the character traits show up in the birds as well. Some of them are very aggressive. Others simply fly off to the nearest fencepost and sit and watch you.

The Father is out here just for the joy of it. But also because he feels a certain debt.

[FATHER] The birds probably inhavited this country quite awhile before we did. This is their home and we are probably their guests. I think it is important for us to make it possible for them to inhabit their original territory. However different we may be, we are all in the great debt of nature. It's our home, and the very root of our being. Whoever we are, we are renewed, and strengthened by Nature's touch.

[Scouts] We helped the birds find a home.


This is Lex Hames out in the wild, blue yonder.

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