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Notes From The Field
January 7, 2016
Have you finished “decking your halls” and “trimming your tree” now that the holidays are over?
Why not consider giving a gift to nature by recycling your live evergreen trees. An evergreen tree placed on its side in a corner of your yard will invite many animals to seek shelter. Carolina wrens may call “tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle” as they peek out from behind the safety of the evergreen branches. A flock of dark-eyed juncos may scurry under the branches searching for seeds that have fallen to the ground. An eastern cottontail rabbit may hop quickly across the yard to the safety of the dense shrubbery of the evergreen. All those evergreen needles may shield a small mammal from the piercing talons of a neighborhood Red-tailed hawk. A mourning dove may fly quickly into the safety of the branches covered in needles to avoid the quick flying maneuvers of the hungry Coopers hawk.
Stand your tree up and you can create a bird feeding station. Add strings of popcorn and berries or pine cones coated in solid shortening or peanut butter and rolled in bird seed to offer birds nutritional food supplements. Northern cardinals will pluck the berries and seeds, necessary nutrients to get through these cold winter months, while adding their beautiful red color to the white winter landscape. White-throated sparrows may hop under the branches of the tree, enjoying the scraps knocked to the ground by the cardinal’s large beak. A heated water source will be the final piece of your backyard gift. Open water is sometimes harder for the animals to find than the food and shelter of your evergreen.
Your backyard wildlife will be appreciative of your gift of food, water, shelter, warmth and safety. But don’t stop there – make a more permanent gift to your backyard wildlife and plant native trees, flowers and shrubs so the animals can continue to call your yard home with the berries and fruit these native plants will provide.
As you “untrim” your tree and “undeck” your halls, consider one more gift of the season – nature’s gift of a recycled evergreen for your backyard wildlife!
Treasures of Old Attics
Ok, so it's finally winter. Now what?
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