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Free birdhouses offered courtesy of community woodworking class

About 70 new bird boxes are available free to the public countywide thanks to volunteer instructors and students who participated in an FRC build-a-thon class March 10-11. SPI and Plumas Audubon Society donated the materials, FRC waived the fees and Quincy High loaned its woodshop for the effort. Some of the woodcraft crew included from left, Robin Griton, Instructor Jim Webster, Terry Russ, Bob Beckwith, Charles Williams and Instructor Chris Murray. Photo submitted

A unique community partnership of local businesses, schools and nonprofits came together this month to provide free training and materials to produce a bevy of brand new bird-box homes for our feathered neighbors throughout the county.

Wait, do bats have feathers? No. More on that in a moment.

With a goal to create as many homes for wild birds and bats as possible in a short time, instructors Chris Murray and Jim Webster volunteered their time to teach a birdhouse build-a-thon class at Feather River College March 10-11.

The course was part of FRC’s ongoing Community Education program that encourages students of any age, interest or background to take classes “for the pure joy of learning” with no grades, tests, papers or long-term commitments. Other courses include wall climbing, tole painting and circus arts, just to name a few.

According to volunteer Zach Revene, six community members worked with the instructors to build and assemble the bird boxes that are now ready to be distributed at no charge to local groups, agencies and community members who will place them where songbirds will enjoy them.

And yes, bats are mammals with fur or hair, but they too need a safe place to call home so the wood crafting students created five houses just for bats.

They also built five homes a piece specifically for kestrels, flickers and tree-nesting wood ducks. For the many songbirds, the students constructed 50 boxes, half of them measuring 4 inches by 4 inches and the rest with dimensions of 6 inches by 6 inches.

Sponsors for the class included Sierra Pacific Industries and the Plumas Audubon Society (PAS) for donated materials. FRC waived the course fee and Plumas Unified School District donated the use of Quincy High School’s Industrial Arts facility with its woodshop.

In addition to citizens, the bird boxes are also available for use by community groups and agencies such as the National Forest Service, PAS members, Feather River Land Trust, FRC programs and area schools, among others.

To obtain a free birdhouse, call 616-1893.

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