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backyard sanctuary

The Perfect Nestbox

Many native cavity-nesters - including this Black-capped Chickadee - will nest in a manmade birdhouse, or nestbox. Look for a nestbox that's plain wood. If the birdhouse comes with a perch, remove it. It just makes it easier for a predator bird to land and go after the eggs or young. Here's the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Shift Change - Swallows to Bats

As darkness grows, bats, like this western long-eared bat, replace swallows in the business of catching flying insects. The night shift has come on duty. Both swallows and bats consume vast quantities of insects. Both are critical components of healthy environments. But the way they fly is... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Birdbaths in Winter

Does the image of a frozen birdbath bring to mind a small yellow bird with ice skates? Birds need water in all seasons, for drinking and for bathing. When the water is frozen, you can thaw it with hot water. Or go the slightly more expensive route and add a heater. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  backyard sanctuary, birdfeeding

Robins and Berries in Winter

It's mid-winter, and a passing flock of robins suddenly drops out of the sky. A moment ago, the yard was empty of birds, but now it's full. They settle in a bush laden with fruits. When the robins pass over a fruiting shrub, those red berries signal like a neon sign on a restaurant. Time to stop... read more »

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