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Harrisburg - The North American Bluebird Society helped kids build bluebird nest boxes as part of the demonstration stage in the Family Living Department at the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

Dale Cook of Yokem, York County, and Ken Leister of West Chester, Chester County, 10-year members of the North American Bluebird Society, led the demonstration. The boxes are made of natural wood and are one inch by six inches by four inches, with a roof about 10 inches long. Each box has one entry hole about one-and-a-half inches round.

Because Eastern bluebird populations fell in the early 20th century, the society began finding ways to protect these beautiful birds. Thanks to their efforts, populations have begun to increase.

The society manually builds the boxes for bluebirds across North America, cleaning them annually to ensure that the residents are bluebirds, not other invasive birds. The society puts up more than 1,000 bluebird nest boxes a year statewide.

Nest box kits are sold through the society for $15, and if interested in becoming a member, the group is offering a seminar at Penn State University in early May. For more information, visit

Other Family Living Demonstrations for Tuesday, Jan. 11 included:
Stage I:
Operation Military Kids - Helping kids cope
Pennsylvania Blacksmith demonstration
Uses for Buffalo - Bison Farm
Ginger Snap Cookie Contest

Stage II:
"Not Your Father's Water Trough" - Blackhawk HS
"Trapping" - Faust Jr. HS
"The things you need to know when owning a horse" - Faust Jr. HS
"Homemade Apple Pie" - Faust Jr. HS
"Improving Forage Quality By Evaluating Particle Size" - McConnellsburg HS
"Artificial Insemination of Cattle" - Upper Dauphin HS
"All Dried Up" - Wilmington Area HS
"Green Wind" - Mohawk Area HS
Crafting of Lace - Keystone Lace Guild
Shavers Creek Environmental Center - Wildlife demonstration

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.

For more information, visit

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For photos of the event, click here.