HAND IT ON: St. Helena Parish Bird Man

ST. HELENA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Birdhouses recently began showing up all over Greensburg in St. Helena Parish.

First, there were only one or two. Then, there were three. And eventually, numerous birdhouses lined the walking track at the Greensburg public park. But, many people were curious about who was putting them up.

Lifetime resident and now Councilwoman Jo Ellen Carruth had her suspicions it was Whitey McGuff.

"He's a retired citizen in our little town of Greensburg," said Carruth. "He goes all over town, all over the parish, actually. In fact, he's even gone out of state to deliver his birdhouses, Bluebird houses, to folks."

William "Whitey" McGuff's hobby in his retirement has become collecting old scraps of wood and building Bluebird houses.

"Well, I started making [Bluebird houses] and giving them away to old people," said McGuff, as he walked us through his outdoor woodshop. "The hole for a Bluebird house is an inch and a quarter. See, a Martin takes about an inch and three-quarters. Different birds for different holes. Wrens take a little bitty hole, about a one-inch hole."

Whitey just began assembling a brand new Bluebird house from wood gathered at the Amite Catholic Church following a recent renovation. And, he never charges for his creations.

"No, I give them away. I just like for people to have them," he added.

For his love of the birds and his compassion for people, Carruth nominated McGuff for Hand It On. She even interrupted him as he was assembling a new birdhouse.

"Mr. McGuff, on behalf of Channel 9's Hand It On, because you have put up Bluebird houses all over St. Helena Parish, Mississippi, and Florida, [we] want to give you $300 so you can keep building," Carruth stated.

A very appreciative and much surprised Whitey McGuff graciously accepted the gift.

"That's great. That's great. I can build several [birdhouses] with that!" he exclaimed.

Nominate an organization or person for Hand It On by sending an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com.

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