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Washington Bluebirds Get a Boost From Wind Energy Developer

Washington Bluebirds Get a Boost From Wind Energy Developer

PPM Energy Sponsors Bickleton School Shop Class to Build 250 Bluebird Boxes

Click Here  for a PDF version of this press release.

May 8, 2007

BICKLETON, Wash. - This small town in the Eastern Columbia River Gorge is known as the "Bluebird Capital of the World" because of the thousands of birds that nest in the region. The area provides prime bluebird habitat, except for a shortage of natural cavities for nests.

This season, the bluebirds are getting a boost from PPM Energy, who sponsored a bird house building project in the Bickleton High School shop class. Students built about 250 bluebird boxes ready-made for the needs of thousands of migratory birds. The boxes are part of a larger network of hundreds of bluebird homes in existence since the 1960s.

A Mountain bluebird nests in one of several thousand bluebird boxes placed around Bickleton Wash.

Although bluebirds are common at wind projects, they are not at high risk, according to PPM Energy biologists. Studies indicate the turbines will not hurt the bluebird population, which generally flies well below the blades. What they do need in order to thrive is the perfect home, built exactly to bluebird specifications - cleaning service included.

"There are hundreds of bluebird boxes now, and people enjoy sharing the bluebirds with visitors to the area," said Ada Ruth Whitmore of Bickleton.

PPM Energy sponsored Bickleton High School students to build these new bluebird boxes based on the historic Brinkerhoff design. The design, created by the first builders of Bickleton's bluebird boxes, specifies a 1 5/8-inch entrance hole. This is the exact size needed by all-blue Mountain Bluebirds and red-breasted Western Bluebirds, because it keeps out the other birds that might steal their nests.

"Driving through Bickleton, most anytime, you can see the beautiful little birds flitting around, and late spring is the best time to view them," said Mrs. Whitmore, who carries on the tradition of the Brinkerhoffs, who founded the bluebird trail. PPM Energy volunteers recently placed about 100 of the new boxes. The whole community volunteers to maintain the bluebird boxes each year. Volunteers clean the boxes every spring along a bluebird trail route covering about 300 miles.

"It's very important to partner with the communities that host our wind energy projects, and helping to preserve Bickleton's source of town pride and local tourism was a perfect match," said Ty Daul, vice president of renewable energy for PPM.

About Avangrid

About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $44 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs approximately 8,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2024, Avangrid ranked first among utilities and 12 overall. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2024 for the sixth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit


About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.

With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

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