LEWISTON – The Stewardship Committee of the Stanton Bird Club is in the fourth year of a grant program from the Androscoggin County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program has a 10-year goal of restoring the old Michaud Farm fields at Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary to 10 acres.

Visitors to the sanctuary will see a change in the landscape. The historical stone walls along the boundary are visible again, apples trees produce fruit for wildlife and invasive shrubs such as honeysuckle are no longer encroaching on the fields.

The wildlife management objective is to attract specific ground-nesting bird species such as bobolink and meadowlark. Both of these species have had population declines in Maine due to loss of habitat.

One of the most recent rewards of the stewardship efforts has been the sight of bluebirds at the sanctuary for the first time. Pairs of bluebird nesting boxes have been put up in the restored fields and, according to the volunteer monitor, one of the boxes has nesting material and adult birds have been sighted.

The Stewardship Committee welcomes community members who would like to volunteer to help with the ongoing project. Call the volunteer coordinator, Larry Nadeau, at 268-4322.

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