Over the years, Pat Propst has taken hundreds of photos of the Eastern Bluebirds that flock to the birdhouses on her Lincolnton property.
Since she first laid eyes on what she considers “the most beautiful bird … in this area,” she has been infatuated with the species.
Propst has been a local coordinator since 2005 for the North Carolina Bluebird Society, which according to the nonprofit group’s website, is “dedicating to ensuring the future” of the particular type of bird and its other “cavity-nesting” bird friends indigenous to the state.
She said she more than enjoys the opportunity that the birds allow her to be a teacher to her eight grandchildren when they visit her home on Hoover Road.
“It’s the first thing they ask about,” she said.
They are most intrigued by the insect-eating species during the start of mating and nesting season in January and February.
However, her instruction doesn’t stop at bluebirds; she also offers her grandchildren tidbits and other insight into a variety of additional bird species living around them.
“Children are very interested in nature, and we can teach them to respect and conserve it at any age,” she said.
Because Propst doesn’t have a camera attached to either of her two birdhouses, one each in the front and backyard, she purposefully built the little bluebird abodes in close proximity to her home so, at a moment’s notice, she can snap photos of the fast-paced creatures from her doorway.
She said bluebird houses must be situated at least 100 feet apart. Even with two birdhouses, she has yet to witness both structures simultaneously filled with nesters or more than five bluebirds in one house at a time.
While there is currently no Lincoln County chapter of the N.C. Bluebird Society, Propst hopes that will one day change and more bluebird aficionados will join the unique group.
In addition to promoting the preservation and protection of the Eastern Bluebird through projects and other educational programs, Society members both build and encourage others throughout the state to construct nestbox trails and additional apparatus necessary for advancing the species’ survival, according to the group’s site.
Propst said she likes spreading the word about bluebirds to encourage people’s appreciation of their immediate surroundings.
“I like the fact that my ‘job’ is strictly volunteer, and I can do as little or as much as I want in helping spread the word about it,” she said.
After being somewhat “inactive” for a time period, the nature lover said she is ready to invest more time into teaching others about bluebirds.
In May, the N.C. Bluebird Society is set to hold their annual meeting at Haw River State Park in Browns Summit.
For more information on the organization or bluebirds, visit ncbluebird.com.