BluebirdersBluebirder Ron Kingston (1943-2023)

Bluebirder Ron Kingston (1943-2023)

Ron Kingston
Ron Kingston with his stovepipe baffle. Source: Obituary

Ronnie “Ron” Edward Kingston, 79, passed away after a stroke on March 25, 2023 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  He was a sweet, kind man who was always willing to help others with their bluebird dilemmas.  The following information is excerpted from his obituary.

Born October 9, 1943 in Tyler, Texas, he and his family later moved back to their family’s home, Paragould, Arkansas. Ron was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Priscilla Dawson Kingston, to whom he was married 42 years.

Ron graduated from University of Arkansas in 1965 and joined the Army in 1966, serving through 1970. After a tour in Viet Nam, he was recruited by the Federal Government in Army Intelligence and worked in Suitland, MD and Northern VA. Later, he and Priscilla moved to Charlottesville, VA.

Ron & Priscilla Kingston, photo from Jim McLochlin
Ron & Priscilla Kingston, photo from Jim McLochlin

Ron’s passion was for birds, especially cavity-nesting birds and bluebirds, a devotion he shared with Priscilla. They were very active in the North American Bluebird Society (NABS) and the Virginia Bluebird Society (VBS) and traveled throughout the United States and other countries to promote education about their conservation. They attended over 30 annual NABS conferences. Ron was the chair of the speaker’s bureau for many years and volunteered for many projects for VBS. Their volunteer work of 38 years included presentations, educational workshops and slide shows at many venues, including state fairs. Ron also supplied and assembled bluebird houses/boxes, which they placed and monitored at many locations around the Commonwealth. They were both charter members of the Piedmont Virginia Bird Club (formerly Monticello Bird Club) of Charlottesville. For their many contributions to the conservation of bluebirds for decades, Ron and Priscilla were the recipients of the 2015 Virginia Bluebird Society Heritage Award, presented by VBS. Ron was especially fond of the bluebird trail they established in the mid-1980’s at Ivy Creek Natural Area, which continues to provide homes and protection for generations of bluebirds to this day. He loved to walk at Ivy Creek and found it peaceful and restorative to his spirit.

One of Ron’s major contributions was the invention of the Kingston Stovepipe Baffle, a simple and inexpensive, yet very efficient, deterrent against predators such as snakes and raccoons when placed on the pole of a nest box. The spread of the use of his idea has saved many thousands of cavity nesting birds. He was highly intelligent and loved to share his wealth of knowledge as a generous and kind educator.

Ron also devoted significant time to the promotion of purple martins by active support of the Purple Martin Conservation Association, which does much research in the US and in Brazil. He was the co-organizer of the Purple Martin Field Day held every year in Louisa, VA since 1995.

Ron’s generous, kind and gentle spirit is already missed by his many friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Ron’s memory to the Virginia Bluebird Society at or by check to Virginia Bluebird Society, 726 William St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401; or to Ivy Creek Foundation,, or by check to Ivy Creek Foundation, P.O. Box 956, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

Bluebird flying high,
Tell me what you sing.
If you could talk to me,
What news would you bring
Of voices in the sky?
– The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord, lyrics from Voices in the Sky, Justin Hayward, 1968


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