Category Archives: Articles

Yards With Non-Native Plants Create ‘Food Deserts’ for Bugs and Birds

Desirée Narango has knocked on hundreds of doors in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to make an intimate request of homeowners: permission to count and identify the trees and shrubs in their yards. Luckily for Narango, now an ecologist at the City University of New York, they almost always said yes. In her counts, she’s found the tropical fronds of banana plants, pink-tufted crepe myrtles, scraggly oaks, and hundreds of other woody plants. But her interest in the greenery isn’t that of a botanist. “We’re thinking at the scale of a bird,” Narango says.

Five Regal Orioles That Put Other Fall Colors to Shame

As summer turns to fall and the autumnal equinox takes hold, the colors of nature hit a more sizzling note. The verdant trees and wildflowers morph into the signature golds, oranges, crimsons, browns, and blacks of the harvest season. The local bird species are changing as well, and while most orioles are already on the wing to their southern homes, I can’t help but remember their vivid jack-o-lantern colors at this time of year.

Red-breasted Nuthatches Are Invading the Northeast This Fall

Red-breasted Nuthatches are always a treat. Smaller and less conspicous than the prevalent White-breasted Nuthatch, these birds sport a black-and-white striped face, a slate back, and an eponymous rusty underside. Tiny and delightful, they tend to spark an immediate grin whenever you see one—but that isn’t always a guarantee depending where you live.