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Image: bluebird sitting on a tree limb

Meet the 97-Year-Old Saving Thousands of Bluebirds!

If you’ve ever thought that one person can’t make a difference, 40,000 bluebirds happen to disagree with you!

When he retired in the 1970s, Al Larson turned his attention towards the sky. Or, well, the birds who fly through it. After reading about the plight of the bluebirds and their declining numbers, he got to work to build them homes to keep their young safe. Now, at the age of 97 and over 350 nest boxes later, it doesn’t appear he’s slowing down!

This is someone who can show us a lot about the impact we each can have.

Image: bluebird sitting on a tree limb
Western bluebird
Source: Pixabay

The Birdman of Idaho!

The thing about Al Larson is that he’s a so-called “self-taught conservationist”. He didn’t go to university to learn about birds. No, he simply cared about them, knew that nesting boxes helped them survive (due to the decreasing number of trees they would typically nest in), and knew that he was more than capable of putting up a few boxes.

But then those few boxes became a few hundred and suddenly, Al was known as the Bluebird Man of Idaho. He monitors the boxes, collecting much-needed data about egg and hatchling numbers that he then gives to universities and really, anyone who requests it.

“I’m gratified to know that I’ve helped the bluebirds increase their populations. I’m gratified to know that through the work I’ve done I’ve inspired many many other people to help not only bluebirds but other creatures as well.“

— Al Larson

Great Big Story introduces us to Al in this wonderful short video!

Via: Great Big Story 1

Great Big Story is one of those channels whose work never fails to leave us amazed at how awesome this world is. They highlight stories that often go missed. Through their lens, we get to meet people, like Al, who are making a difference, learn about fantastic cultural traditions, the secret lives of animals and explore this entire world in ways we could never have without their work. Thank you, Great Big Story!

If you’d like to check out more of their great work, check out their YouTube channel and give them a follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

We can each make a difference!

Whatever it is that you enjoy or feel the calling to do, the world needs you to pursue it. If everyone was doing the same thing, we wouldn’t get very far, would we? Your unique interest is just as important as the next person’s.

Here are a few stories that really prove this!

Guerrilla Gardener Takes on South Central LA

Meet Ron Finley; an amazing fellow who’s come up with a better idea than battling over turf. How about using “turf” in a very old way! Take a look!

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
Why Would One Man Fill 600 Potholes?

Now here’s an inspiring story of turning a personal loss into wonderful progress for all! Thousands of people die every year just because of the potholes littering India’s roads. And after his own son lost his life, this father became the change the country needs. Just check out the impact he’s having…

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
Living Beyond Expectations: Daniel Kish

Despite not having eyes, Daniel Kish has taught himself to “see” with human “echo-location” and he is teaching others. His story is a remarkable testament to what happens when we never get the memo about things that are “impossible” and instead make what we have work for us!

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast

If you’d like to learn a little more about Al and his journey, here’s another wonderful documentary all about him. It’s about 30 minutes long and really gets you excited about staying active and pursuing your interests throughout life!

Via: Bluebird Man – A Film by Wild Lens 2

Want to hear the stories of more amazing birds?

Boy, do we have some articles for you! We’ve celebrated everything from the birds that can sound like a chainsaw, ones with a horn growing out of their heads, who hold the title of “fastest animal in the world”, and even one who eats bones. Here are three of my personal favorites but you really should check out our full bird circle!

A Bird that Sings Like a Dog… And a Camera?

Have you ever heard the song of the lyrebird? These strange birds take the sounds of dogs, cameras, chainsaws, and other birds to create their mating calls!

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast

(This is my mom’s favorite article!)

Meet a Living Dinosaur: The Giant Cassowary

Is it possible to find a living dinosaur in some far off corner of the globe? It is if you count the extraordinary, enormous bird called a cassowary!

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
You’re Probably More Like a Crow than You Thought

These birds probably live near you, but have you ever noticed just how intelligent they are? No? Well, you’re in for a treat.

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein 

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  1. Great Big Story. “The Birdman of Idaho Has Built Homes for Over 40,000 Bluebirds.” YouTube, Great Big Story, 25 July 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRw-D_Nw9t8&feature=youtu.be. Accessed 29 Aug. 2019.
  2. Bluebird Man – A Film by Wild Lens. “Bluebird Man – Al Larson Bluebird Recovery Documentary.” YouTube, Wild Lens, 12 Apr. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg7vnYDu_U8. Accessed 29 Aug. 2019.
Published: September 23, 2019

Image: Samantha Burns

Sam Burns

Former Editor-In-Chief

Sam wrote and edited hundreds of articles during her time on the Goodness Exchange team from 2016-2021. She wrote about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the Goodness Exchange, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.

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