Create a beautiful bird and butterfly friendly garden sanctuary by learning about which plants and shrubs are most likely to entice them. The principles are simple. Flowers provide nectar and seeds, trees and shrubs provide nuts, berries, nesting sites and shelter. These flowers, shrubs and trees have the added benefit of providing interesting textures and bright colors to your landscape. With tips on choosing the right plants you’ll see how easy it is to have a yard that welcomes wildlife.
March 11, 2019
10:00 AM to 12 N
Creutzburg Center 200
Instructor: Andrea Hallmark
$45.00 Course Fee
Snowy owls, despite their white plumage that allows them to blend into their Arctic surroundings, are easily recognizable. They’re beloved as a symbol of winter and as a companion to Harry Potter.
Identifying a bird can be a challenge, even for experienced birders. And if you’re new to using field guides, it can be daunting to figure out where to even begin searching in the hundreds of pages of species.
Wrens aren’t our flashiest birds, but they more than make up for it with their big personalities. Small and brown, they rarely sit still, whether vigorously defending their nests and territories, pecking for food on the forest floor, or just incessantly chattering away. They’ll get into shouting matches and physical confrontations with interlopers, including much larger species and humans, and even destroy eggs of other birds. In other words, wrens don’t mess around.
Evolution works with what’s at hand. So if you start with a normal bird skull – bill pointing forward, eyes oriented front or sideways, ears behind eyes – and introduce the challenge of seeing behind your head while your bill is pushed deeply into the soil, what do you get? The American Woodcock! With its long bill constantly probing the soil for earthworms, its entire skull has been rearranged. Relative to other birds, woodcocks’ eyes have moved toward the top and rear of the skull, pushing the ear openings downward. Apparently the brain followed suit!
During December, birds spend the long, cold nights in a protected place, sheltered from rain and safe from nighttime predators. Small forest birds, such as nuthatches and creepers, may spend the night huddled together in tree cavities. Birds like this male Mallard fluff up their feathers for insulation, hunker down over their legs and feet, and turn their heads around to poke their beaks under their shoulder feathers.
New research provides support for splitting the Northern Cardinal into multiple species.
It seems logical that most birds flee the northern regions to overwinter somewhere warmer, such as the tropics. Their feat of leaving their homes, navigating and negotiating often stupendous distances twice a year, indicates their great necessity of avoiding the alternative—of staying and enduring howling snowstorms and subzero temperatures.
How Do Birds Survive the Winter?
Some 400 billion birds share the planet with us, each with its own abundant coat of feathers. Far, far too many to count. Perhaps even harder to fathom is the wealth of plumage colors, patterns and shapes that spring from Mother Nature’s artistry.
Did you know it’s entirely possible to know when there’s a house cat walking down a path, or a weasel bounding through the thick brush, or even another person headed your way on the hiking trail? All this is revealed clearly and audibly by birds.