Hummingbirds, Native Plants  |  June 03, 2020

Why Native Plants? Missouri Native Plant Society

Why do I need a diversity of natives in my yard?
Exerpt from The Chickadee’s Guide to Gardening: In Your Garden, Choose Plants That Help the Environment By DOUGLAS W. TALLAMY, MARCH 11, 2015 a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, is the author of “Bringing Nature Home” Please google Douglas Tallamy.
“But local insects have only just met Bradford pears, in an evolutionary sense, and have not had the time — millennia — required to adapt to their chemical defenses. And so Bradford pears stand virtually untouched in my neighbor’s yard.
In the past, we thought this was a good thing. After all, Asian ornamentals were planted to look pretty, and we certainly didn’t want insects eating them. We were happy with our perfect pears, burning bushes, Japanese barberries, porcelain berries, golden rain trees, crape myrtles, privets, bush honeysuckles and all the other foreign ornamentals.
Playing God in the Garden : By planting productive native species, we can create life.
But there are serious ecological consequences to such choices, and another exercise you can do at home makes them clear. This spring, if you live in North America, put up a chickadee nest box in your yard. If you are lucky, a pair of chickadees will move in and raise a family. While they are feeding their young, watch what the chickadees bring to the nest: mostly caterpillars. Both parents take turns feeding the chicks, enabling them to bring a caterpillar to the nest once every three minutes. And they do this from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. for each of the 16 to 18 days it takes the chicks to fledge. That’s a total of 350 to 570 caterpillars every day, depending on how many chicks they have. So, an incredible 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars are required to make one clutch of chickadees.”
Why do I need to plant local-source native plants?
All native flowers are good food source for native pollinators like bees, butterflies and in turn, birds; they have evolved with one another. Fall blooming natives are especially important in nourishing the migrating insects and preparing the adults and caterpillars for winter. Cultivars from Box Stores are not good for wildlife.
The best plan for a pollinator garden is to plant a diversity of native plants; perhaps 30 different native species grown from a local seed source. It is important to read this article and some of the additional links provided within it. Enter this link: https://www.ecobeneficial.com/2015/07/why-locally-sourced-locally-grown-native-plants-matter/
In this case “local” means within 50 miles N<->S, and 100 miles E<->W. Consult a NPS member if you are enticed to get plants from beyond this region.
Find local professional assistance in the Grow Native Resource guide at www.grownative.org.
Within the Grow Native site, you will also find links to a Native Plant Database which not only lists hundreds of useful plants for your garden but explains the invasive plants and the natives with which you can replace them. There are over 20 articles explaining the need to plant natives for pollinators and birds, and a Seedling Identification page for 40 species commonly used in gardens so you won’t pull them up thinking they are invasive weeds.
Ask a member who talked to you at the booth or learn more by joining the local Hawthorn Chapter Missouri Native Plant Society at www.columbianativeplants.org
In this diagram, your yard sod is the first on the left. All others are native plants. Yes, they penetrate hardpan clay.
______________________________________________
Instructions for planting perennials in hot, dry weather
 Soak the soil, slowly, where you will be planting.
 Dig the hole about twice as wide and deep as the size of the container.
 Amend the soil [clay] in the hole with some kind of decomposed biological stuff [= decomposed compost, manure, leaves] but nothing with a high nitrogen content. This necessitates breaking clay into small chunks and mixing with compost. DO NOT use a peatmoss potting mix to amend the planting site.
 Soak the potted plant before planting.
 After removing the plastic pot, set plant in hole so crown is ABOVE ground level.
 Press soil/compost around plant FIRMLY [not hard-packed]. Wild perennials’ roots do NOT grow through air spaces.
 Put a shallow layer of garden soil over the top of the mix the plant is in. If this step is missed, Sun/heat/wind will dry the block of medium the plant started in and it will die quickly.
 Gently pour a bucket of water into/over the hole and new plant until it is ‘full’.
 Use your foot to press the undisturbed soil from outside > in, around the plant.
 If your foot sinks into the mud, you need more dirt to fill the air pockets. Most upland native plants do not appreciate being below the natural soil level.
 Add water and repeat until bubbles stop coming up.

 Usually about 3-4 gallons is enough to mulch each new plant. Cover the planting site with about 2-3 inches [ = second knuckle to crotch of middle finger]. Pull mulch away from crown of new plant.
 Before successive watering of your new plant, stick a finger through the mulch to test for dampness. If clay comes out on the tip of your finger, the plant probably is OK. Soak plant if finger comes out clean. Water thoroughly if plant is droopy.
 After a hard freeze, mark the plant. Sometime during the winter add 1-2 inches of mulch. Native perennials will come up through loose mulch. Wood chips keep nitrogen and weed seeds busy so they germinate weakly and are easy to pull if they come up at all.
 Depending on the natural needs of your new native perennial and rainfall, you might not need any more care of your plant. Usually after 2 years, if your plant is thriving , besides mulching once each winter, it will need no more care.
 Contact the Hawthorn Chapter of Missouri Native Plant Society www.columbianativeplants.org for more information. You receive regular information if you join the group. See site for membership options.
 We reuse/recycle all nursery plastic if you bring it to one of our activities
Membership benefits
 Learn to identify and grow native plants through field trips and workshops.
 Field trips to see wildflowers and rich natural communities including glades, prairies, and forests.
 Presentations by invited speakers at meetings.
 Share information about the benefits of native plants.
 Monthly newsletters from the Hawthorn Chapter and bi-monthly newsletters from the state MONPS.
 Meet others who share these interests

“The purpose of the Hawthorn Chapter of the Missouri Native Plant Society is to promote the enjoyment, preservation, conservation, restoration, and study of flora native to Missouri, public education of the value of the native flora and its habitat, and publication of related information.” –– MONPS, Hawthorn Chapter, bylaws, Art.1, Sec. 2.
MEMBERSHIP FORM
Missouri Native Plant Society
Hawthorn Chapter
www.columbianativeplants.org
Membership Levels:
___ Student $11
___ Regular $16
___ Contributing $26 (designate extra for chapter or state contribution)
Includes both Chapter and State dues.
Annual renewal on July 1.
Make check payable to:
Native Plant Society.
Name _____________________________________
Address ___________________________________
___________________________________
Phone: Day ________________________________
Evening ________________________________
Email: ____________________________________
All communications will come by email unless you say you want the Petal Pusher to be mailed on paper at a cost of $10. Circle one.
Email Regular Mail
Send check and this form to:
Paula Peters
2216 S. Grace Ellen Dr
Columbia, MO 65202
Missouri Native Plant Society
Hawthorn Chapter
Promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the native flora of Missouri

______________________________________________

To View PDF Version Click Here

Gardening for Birds  |  May 02, 2020

Bird Man Mel’s Favorite Plants

Bird Man Mel’s Favorite Plants

 

PERENNIALS

Coneflowers (purple & yellow – Native variety) – Finches, Hummingbirds & Butterflies

American Bittersweet (Native variety) – Bluebirds

Cardinal Flower (wet areas – Native variety) – Hummingbirds

Columbine (early bloomer – Native variety ) – Hummingbirds

New England Aster (Native variety) – Monarch Butterflies & Songbirds

Butterfly Milkweed (Native variety – Monarch Butterflies, other Butterflies & Pollinators

Blue False Indigo (Native variety) – Bumble Bees, Birds, Small Mammals

Ninebark – Pollinators, Birds & Butterflies

Buttonbush – Butterflies, Songbirds & Beneficial Insects

Eastern Redbuds – Birds, Bees & Butterflies

Joe-Pye Weed – Butterflies

Beebalm – Hummingbirds

Drop Me Scarlet Honeysuckle – Hummingbirds

Trumpet Vine – Hummingbirds

 

ANNUALS

 

Cigar Plant – Hummingbirds

Fuchsia Basket – Hummingbirds

Penta – Hummingbirds & Butterflies

Lantana – Hummingbirds

Cardinal Climber – Hummingbirds

Impatiens (shade) – Hummingbirds

Geranium (Red) – Draws in Hummers – Not a great nectar plant

Coreopsis – Songbirds, some Butterflies

Salvia (also perennials) – Hummingbirds & Songbirds

Petunia (only open-throated red ones) – Hummingbirds

Zinnias (particularly red ones) – Butterflies, Hummingbirds & Songbirds

Sunflowers – Songbirds

Events, Squirrels & Critters  |  April 15, 2020

Squirrel Seminar – Products

Below is a list of products described in the “Squirrel Defeating” seminar. They can all be purchased at Songbird Station. Not local? Contact us and we will help locate your local wild bird supplier.

All Brome Feeders

SEEK7607 – “Who Me?” Thermal Mug

SEEK2014 – “You Want What?  When?”  Note Pad

SEEK7043 – “You Want What?  When?” 11 oz. Mug

SEEK7606 – “You Want What?  When?” Thermal Mug

SEEK2017 – “You Want What?  When?”  Magnet

SEEK6606 – “You Want What?  When” Garden Flag

SEEK7048 – “I Don’t Do Mornings!” 15 oz. Mug

SEEK7608 – “I Don’t Do Mornings!” Thermal Mug

SEEK2016- “I Don’t Do Mornings!” Magnet

Books:  “Bird & Squirrel On The Run” by Scholastic

Squirrels On Skis” by Random House

“Getting Squirrelly” by Willow Creek Press

“Those Darn Squirrels” by Clarion Books

“Enjoying Squirrels” by Bird Watcher’s Digest

“Baby Chipmunk” Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle

“Little Butterfly” Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle

“Little Bee” Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle

WR16491 – Mini Squirrel

WR16492 – Mini Chipmunk

WR10943 – Raccoon

Get Well Frog Note Cards by Tree Free

Raccoon on Log Encouragement Cards by Tree Free

Squngee

SESEED145 – 5# Bag Songbird Safflower Seed

CS608 – Sweet Corn Squirrel Log

CS907 – Ready-to-use Peanut Delight Log

CS954 – Ready-to-use Hot Pepper Delight Log

CS553 – Hot Pepper Suet Dough Cake

PTF1441 – 3# Hot Pepper Suet

PTF8009 – Cardinal Safflower Classic Suet Log

SE978 – Pecan Tweet Balls

SE949 – Seed ‘n Nut Tweet Balls

Coles 8 oz. Flaming Squirrel Seed Sauce

Coles 16 oz. Flaming Squirrel Seed Sauce

SESQ85 – 14” Squirrel Defeater Snap-on Pole Baffle

SESQ86 – 17 ½ “ Squirrel Defeater Super Snap-on Pole Baffle

SESQ86 – Raccoon Cylinder Pole Baffle

SESQS88 – Squirrel Defeater Cylinder Pole Baffle

SE6000 – Squirrel Resistant Suet Palace

SE3880086 – Squirrel Gordo Birdhouse

BE100 – Ornamental Window Hook

BRUSHOR107 – Brown Squirrel Ornament

BRUSHOR118 – Chipmunk Ornament

Brushkin Raccoon – Small

BRUSHAWQD12 – 9” Brushkin Squirrel

BRUSHSK23 – Brushkin Squirrel on Plant Stick

Attracting Birds, Orioles  |  April 11, 2020

Tips for Attracting Orioles

Tips for Attracting Orioles

Click here for full brochure – Oriole TIPs

Because of their strikingly beautiful black and orange
or yellow plumage, their distinctive whistle, spring
songs, and their amazing suspended nest, Orioles are
quickly becoming one of America’s favorite birds. While
over eight species of Orioles can regularly be seen in the
United States, we’ll deal mainly in this flyer with three
species: Baltimore, Bullocks, and Orchard (range maps
on back page). All United States Orioles show variation
on the theme of black and orange or yellow plumage.

Except for in the Southeast, all Orioles are tropical
migrants. While migrations vary from year-to-year,
Orioles generally arrive in the South in early spring,
Midwest in early May, and further North soon afterward.
It is very important that you have Oriole feeders up and
ready, or often they will pass you by for better feeding
grounds. It is equally important to have nesting
materials out and ready to help encourage Orioles to
nest in your yard. Although studies are still being done
on how much we can tempt Orioles to nest in backyards,
by summer’s end, migrating Orioles are headed back
south to their tropical winter homes in Central and South
America. It does appear that Baltimore Oriole’s ranges
are expanding, while Bullocks and Orchard Orioles are
declining. All Orioles need and benefit from your help.

 

Continue Reading…

Hummingbirds, Sales & Promotions  |  April 03, 2020

Attracting Hummingbirds Seminar Products 4/4/2020

Below is a click-through list of all products Bird Man Mel mentions in his Attracting Hummingbirds Facebook Live seminar! Your local Wild Bird Suppler Store or Garden Center most likely carries a large variety of these products. Let us help you locate a store near you! Call us at 1-800-269-4450

AP32468                           Amazing Hummingbirds
AP35292                           Hummingbirds
AP36886                           Our Love of Hummingbirds
AP36954                           Hummingbird Playing Cards

ASPECTS401                   Antique Brass Small Nyjer

ASPECTS402                  QC Antique Brass Medium Nyjer
ASPECTS403                 QC Antique Brass Large Nyjer

ASPECTS281                   Tube Top Dome

ASPECTS407                   Jewel Box Window Hummingbird Feeder
ASPECTS433                   HummBlossom 4 oz Feeder Rose Color
ASPECTS437                   The Gem Window Hummingbird Feeder
ASPECTS438                   Gem Anti-Insect Kit
BE107                               Plastic Trainer for Hummer Rings
BE114                               Red Port Brush
BS-400                              Bottle Stopper – Spring Hummingbird
COBANEC373                  Black Chinned Hummingbird Ornament
COBANEC417                  Rufous Hummingbird Ornament
COBANEC449                  Male Cardinal Perching Ornament
GE137                               Hummingbird with Red Flower Sun Catcher
GE159                               Hummingbird withRed Flower Hook
GEBLUEG354                   HBird & Flower Chime
GEHF002                          Red Textured Glass Hummingbird Feeder
HM618024964                   Hummingbirds of N.A.
HUMMBUG1                      Humm-Bug Hummingbird Feeder
IMP52116KZ                      Kids Puzzle Hummingbirds 40 piece Puzzle
IMP52855KZ                      Kids Puzzle Songbirds 40 piece Puzzle
IMP6MGM                          Memory Game Birds of North America
LEWERSNC23                   Peterson’s Hummingbird Notecard Assortment (4 each of 2 styles)
SE077                                Window Suction Cup Hanger
SE3880080                        Hummingbird Gord-O Bird House
SE4000                              Faceted Ruby
SE5003                              Hummingbird Hanging Bird Bath
SE5023                              Majestic Cardinal Bird Bath withstand
SE6002                              Dr. JB’s 16 oz Clean Feeder All Red
SE6022                              Dr. JB Switchable 32 oz JAR ONLY
SE604                                Best Hummer Brush
SE610                                Nectar Protector-Clear/Bulk 18 oz
SE611                                Nectar Protector-Red/Bulk 18 oz
SE624                                Nectar Protector Jr.-Clear/Bulk 9 oz
SE625                                Nectar Protector Jr.-Red/Bulk 9 oz
SE628                                8 oz Clear Hummingbird Nectar
SE629                                24 oz. Clear Nectar
SE632                                1 Quart (32 oz) Red RTU Hum. Nectar All Natural- No Dyes
SE633                                1 Quart (32 oz) Clear RTU Hum. Nectar
SE634                                8 oz Red Hummingbird Nectar All Natural- No Dyes
SE640                                2 Quart (64 oz) Clear RTU Nectar
SE642                                24 oz Red Hummingbird Nectar All Natural- No Dyes
SE643                                2 Quart (64 oz) Red RTU Nectar
SE7015                              Window Hawk Transparent
SE7019                              Easy Mister
SE7021                              Hummer Helper Cage and Nesting
SE801                                Tweet Heart Birdie Swing Black
SE802                                Tweet Heart Birdie Swing Copper Color
SE952                                Big Red Hummingbird Feeder
SE990                                 Super Shaker Nectar Maker
SE998                                 The Natural Bird Guardian
SEBCO312                         Red Bird Hummingbird Feeder
SEHHHUMS                       Copper Hummingbird Swing
SEHHWF1T                        Window Feeder One Tube
SEHHWHWA                      Whimsy Wand
SESQ83R                           Hummer Helper Hummer Helmet
SLHFF                                Hummingbird Feeder Fresh Nectar Defender
SLNF                                  Nectar Fortress Natural Ant Repellent
STOKESBEGHUM             Beginners Guide to Hummingbirds
STOKESHUM                     Hummingbird Book
WMPA167                          Grow A Hummingbird Garden
COBANEC448                    Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird Flying
SE619                                Stopper for Hummingbird Feeder
IMP184SS                          Screen Saver Hummingbirds of the Americas

WR23155                           Insect Mini Bucket

WR12300                           8” Plush Ruby-throated Hummingbird

WR18226                           Ruby-throated Hummingbird Plush

BD1016                               Squirrel Buster Finch

SWVNQ1026                        Vanquish 10 x 26 binocular

SWVNQ0826                         Vanquish 8 x 26 binocular

Attracting Birds, Bird Watching, Nesting  |  March 30, 2020

REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE CAVITY-NESTING BIRDS

© NestWatch / The Cornell Lab of Ornithology / https://nestwatch.org/learn/all-about-birdhouses/dealing-with-predators/

Species Nesting Habitat Box Height Hole Size Minimum Spacing
American Kestrel Pastures, fields, meadows, or orchards with mowed or grazed vegetation; place boxes on lone trees in fields, on trees along edges of woodlots, and on farm buildings. Facing south or east 10-30 feet 3″ diameter 1/2 mile
Ash-throated Flycatcher Chaparral, mesquite thickets, oak scrub, dry plains spotted with trees or cacti, deserts, and open deciduous and riparian woodlands 3-20 feet 1 3/4″ round 200 feet
Barn Owl Prefers open areas like fields, deserts and marshes which are in close proximity to hollow trees, cliffs, riverbanks, or man-made structures, including barns, bridges and other accessible sites, and which support healthy rodent populations 8-25 feet 3 3/4″ x 4 1/2″ elliptical 100 feet
Black-capped Chickadee Forests, woodlots, and yards with mature hardwood trees, forest edges, meadows; area should receive 40-60% sunlight, hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 650 feet
Brown-headed Nuthatch Open stands of pine-hardwood forests, clearings scattered with dead trees, forest edges, burned areas, cypress swamps 5-10 feet 1″ round 1 box per 6 acres
Carolina Chickadee Forests, woodlots, and yards with mature hardwood trees, forest edges, meadows; area should receive 40-60% sunlight, hole should face away from prevailing wind. Unlike other chickadees, Carolina Chickadee does not do much excavating, so wood chips are not necessary. 4-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 30 feet
Carolina Wren Forests with thick underbrush, forest edges, woodland clearings, open forests, shrub lands, suburban gardens, parks, backyards; near trees or tall shrubs 3-6 feet 1 1/2″ round, or 2 1/2″ x 5″ slot 330 feet
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Coniferous forests, mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, forest edges, woodlands, thickets, burned areas, often near streams; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 160 feet
Common Goldeneye Breeding habitat is limited to aquatic areas with dead trees, in boreal, deciduous, aspen and montane woods; favor calm, large, clear lakes without much vegetation or fish. Please several inches of wood shavings in the box in early spring. 6-30 feet 3 1/4″ high x 4 1/4″ wide 2/3 mile
Eastern Bluebird Open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west-facing directions 3-6 feet 1 1/2″ diameter (round), or 2 1/4″ high x 1 3/8″ wide (oval) 300 feet
Eastern Screech-Owl Forests, parks, woodland clearings, forest edges, wooded stream edges, under a tree limb. Add 2″-3″ of wood shavings 10-30 feet 3″ round 100 feet
European Starling Habitat generalists, nesting in areas ranging from rural and agricultural to suburban and urban areas, but they avoid heavily wooded, mountainous, and arid regions providing nest boxes is discouraged for this species in the U.S. can squeeze through holes with 1 9/16″ diameter 5 feet
Great Crested Flycatcher Deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, forest edges, woodlots, orchards, parks, on post or tree at forest edge 3-20 feet 1 3/4″ round 1 box per 6 acres
Hooded Merganser Quiet, shallow, clear water pools surrounded by or near the edge of deciduous woods: small forest pools, ponds, swamps; add 3″ of wood shavings; add ladder under inside of entrance hole for young to climb out 6-25 feet 3″ high by 4″ wide horizontal oval 100 feet
House Sparrow Agricultural, suburban, and urban areas; tend to avoid woodlands, forests, grasslands, and deserts providing nest boxes is discouraged for this species in the U.S. can fit through holes with 1 1/4″ diameter variable
House Wren Variety of habitats, farmland, openings, open forests, forest edges, shrub lands, suburban gardens, parks, backyards; near trees or tall shrubs 5-10 feet 1″ round 100 feet
Mountain Bluebird Open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; will also use deciduous and coniferous forest edges; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west-facing directions 4-6 feet 1 9/16″ diameter 300 feet
Mountain Chickadee Coniferous forests, forest edges, woodland clearings; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 1 box per 10 acres
Northern Flicker Pastures, groves, woodlots, orchards, fields, meadows, woodland clearings, forest edges, urban parks, on pole or tree at forest edge or along fence rows bordering crop fields; south or east facing; box should be completely filled with wood chips or shavings 6-12 feet 2 1/2″ round 330 feet
Prothonotary Warbler Lowland hardwood forests subject to flooding, stagnant water, swamps, ponds, marshes, streams, flooded river valleys, wet bottomlands; box should be over or near water 4-12 feet 1 1/4″ round 235 feet
Purple Martin Broad open areas (meadows, fields, farmland, swamps, ponds, lakes, rivers) with unobstructed space for foraging on flying insects; there should be no trees or buildings within 40 feet of the martin pole in any direction; houses should be painted white 10-15 feet 2 1/8″ round or 3″ wide x 1 3/16″ high crescent 10 feet
Red-breasted Nuthatch Mixed coniferous-deciduous forests, shrub lands, swamps, farmlands, suburban parks; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/4″ round 150 feet
Tree Swallow Open fields near water, expansive open areas, marshes, meadows, wooded swamps; on a post in open areas near tree or fence, east facing 5-6 feet 1 3/8″ round 35 feet
Tufted Titmouse Deciduous forest, thick timber stands, woodland clearings, forest edges, woodlots, riparian and mesquite habitats; hole should face away from prevailing wind 5-15 feet 1 1/4″ round 580 feet
Violet-green Swallow Open or broken deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, wooded canyons, edges of dense forest 9-15 feet 1 3/8″ round 30 feet
Western Bluebird open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; will also use deciduous and coniferous forest edges; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west-facing directions 4-6 feet 1 1/2″ diameter 215 feet
Western Screech-Owl Lower elevations, forests, parks, woodland clearings, forest edges, deserts, wooded stream edges, under a tree limb, south or east facing. Add 2″-3″ of wood shavings 10-30 feet 3″ round 1,000 feet
White-breasted Nuthatch Deciduous woodlands, mature forests, woodlots, near open areas, forest edges, orchards, often near water; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-20 feet 1 1/4″ round 1,040 feet
Wood Duck Forested wetlands or near marshes, swamps, and beaver ponds; boxes can be installed on posts or poles in water, at least 3 feet above the high water mark, facing south or west. If installing on land, choose a site within 100 feet of water with no branches near the entrance hole and with a predator guard. Place 4 inches of wood shaving in box floor. Box should have fledgling ladder inside entrance hole to enable young to climb out. 6-30 feet 4″ wide, 3″ high 600 feet

Attracting Birds, Purple Martins  |  March 25, 2020

Tips for Attracting Purple Martins

Purple Martins (Progne subis) are the largest of the swallow family who have been known to even be seen on radar as large groups take flight. Martins east of the Rocky Mountains solely dependent on human-provided housing. Martins started using gourds originally provided by Native Americans as housing dating back to the colonial times. They have shown an affinity to nesting in natural gourds, man-made gourds, and aluminum houses.

Martins will return to the same breeding site year after year so if you have lost your Martins there is a good reason why. Make sure you control House Sparrows and European Starling populations in and around your colony. Like many birds, the Purple Martin does have a relatively short time you may enjoy their song each year so preparation is paramount in having a successful season.

 

View Purple Martin Tips Brochure

Informative  |  

Origami Flapping Bird

Summer activity around the feeding station is like watching an animated movie. Adults fly down with their young for lessons in getting food and water, flitting from one antic juvenile to the next in a rapid-fire exhibition of maneuvers. Now you can experience the frenzy with your own bird. Using the diagrams and instructions below, turn a simple piece of paper into a complex pattern of folds for flapping.

Origami Flapping Bird Instructions

Attracting Birds, Bird Watching, Bluebirds  |  

The Bluebirder’s Ten Commandments

THE BLUEBIRDER’S TEN COMMANDMENTS

I. Place houses at least 300 feet apart, because bluebirds are territorial.

II. Keep the bluebird houses in open habitat. It’s the environment they prefer.

III. Control the House Sparrow, or it will eliminate the bluebird and Tree Swallow.

IV. Add a second bluebird house 21 feet (7 paces) from the first house, at every 300-foot setting. This will allow the valuable Tree Swallow to also nest on your bluebird trail.

V. Control the most threatening parasite, the blowfly larva.

If you don’t, you may end up fledging very few, if any, baby birds. Change their nests when babies are from seven to 10-days old (only one change per brood needed.)

VI. Attach a predator guard to your bluebird houses. This will protect the bluebirds from predators and other enemies.

VII. Avoid handling the bluebird and/or Tree Swallow young after they are 14 days or older. They may fledge prematurely, which could cause their death.

VIII. Monitor your bluebird trail at least once every week.

IX. Remove the old bluebird and/or Tree Swallow nests on your first nest check after the young have fledged.

X. Keep accurate field records. This is the first step toward achieving greater success on your bluebird trail.

© 1995 Andrew M. Troyer – Bring Back the Bluebirds