North America has millions of utility markers. This biologist sees millions of birdhouses.

Wildlife biologist Steve Barlow thought to himself: What if I could invent a birdhouse that can easily be added to the millions of utility marker poles across the country?

So he invented a birdhouse that can easily be added to utility marker poles, those ubiquitous signposts that mark the right-of-way for pipelines, cables and other underground utilities. Called Nesting Post, it’s meant to restore lost habitat for certain cavity-nesting birds, and on a massive scale thanks to the posts’ prevalence across North America. It wouldn’t interfere with the markers’ original purpose, he notes, so it should be a win for everyone.

“We’ve got hundreds of millions of these markers out there,” Barlow says. “Why not make them more useful than just marking the right of way?”

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