- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut environmental officials are making lumber available for schools and other groups to build boxes as habitats for bluebirds.

The state has been encouraging the construction of nest boxes for more than 30 years as a way to boost the bluebird population. Their numbers had been declining due to competition with more aggressive, non-native birds and what officials describe as a shortage of natural nesting areas.

The lumber for the boxes is available at offices in Burlington, Franklin and Marlborough.

Participating groups are expected to monitor the boxes during the nesting season and report back to the state Wildlife Division.

The lumber comes from state forests and was prepared at a state saw mill.

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