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

Attracting Birds, Bird Watching, Bluebirds  |  March 25, 2020

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

 

Bird Watching  |  January 18, 2019

Great Backyard Bird Count

You wake up in the morning, make your coffee, look out of your back window – you see Blue Jays and Cardinals dancing around your feeders. You hear the whistle of a Black-Capped Chickadee and as winter progresses these songs of the black-capped chickadee are becoming more prominent. Join over 160,000 individuals this February as they count their backyard birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Each year the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society team together for the Great Backyard Bird Count.  The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen-science project used to collect data on wild birds and display the results in real-time.

Great Backyard Bird Count Statistical Map 2018
Great Backyard Bird Count Statistical Map 2018

Counting wild birds provides critical data which can be used to analyze bird populations and create the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The data collected helps answer important questions such as “How will the weather and climate change influence bird populations?” and “How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?” Bird populations are consistently changing. Data collected in the 2014 GBBC implied a significant irruption of Snow Owls across the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, Great Lake areas of the United States.

Dust off the binoculars and get your sketch books out, this year’s bird count will take place from Friday, February 16th through Monday, February 19th.  Anyone and everyone are invited to participate for as little at 15 minutes. You can count birds in your backyard or other locations such as parks, lakes – anywhere wild birds can be found! Go as a group or go alone, the GBBC is easy and convenient. Visit BirdCount.Org to register and track your results.

Helpful Sites:

Cornell Lab or Ornithology: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Page.aspx?pid=1478

Great Backyard Bird Count: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

National Audubon Society: https://www.audubon.org/

eBird: https://ebird.org/news/counting-102/