Healthy habitat is the key to the future of birds. And October is a good time to enrich your backyard habitat. Russell Link, who wrote the book, "Landscaping for Wildlife," says one of his top ten plants is a snag, because it's so important to a wide variety of birds. Plants that have berries in the fall are a real favorite, especially with Cedar Waxwings, like this one. Check out Related Resources to learn more about Russell's book, "Landscaping for Wildlife." Then find more about planting for birds and wildlife at Audubon.org.
Landscaping for Wildlife I - Interview with Russell Link
Written by Todd Peterson
This is BirdNote.
[Call of Black capped Chickadee]
Healthy habitat is the key to the future of birds. And October is a good time to enrich your backyard habitat. We’re here today with Russell Link, who literally wrote the book on landscaping for wildlife.
RL Track 165 9:30. Interestingly, when people ask me what are my top ten plants, I oftentimes will include dead or dying trees … because they’re so important to a wide variety of birds.
[Whacks from a Northern Flicker]
RL 1:35 As I look through my garden here I’m looking at some plants that rise to the top, as far as favorites go, and this is Red-twigged Dogwood…Has berries on it in the fall and wonderful flowers in the late spring…
[Whir of wings from an Anna’s Hummingbird].
Many birds (waxwings, Band-tailed pigeons, robins, grouse) eat these berries]
RL 3:45 This is an ornamental apple. It has little red berries on it… After the first freeze …gee whiz they’ll last about three weeks before the birds finish them off. A real favorite of robins and towhees…
[Whinny of robins and call of towhees]
We asked Russell why it matters so much to him.
RL 14:47 …doing this work is important to me for a variety of reasons but I would say most important is that I enjoy watching these things. I enjoy listening to the chickadee in the background as we talk, or the Swallowtail butterfly cruising by or the owls at night.
[Hooting of Great Horned Owls]
To learn more about landscaping for wildlife and for a link to Russell Link’s book, come to our website, birdnote.org.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Call of Black capped Chickadee 106942 recorded by R.S. Little; drumming of Northern Flicker by D.S. Herr and territorial call 6819 by R.C. Stein; whir of wings of Anna’s Hummingbird by A.A. Allen; whinny of robin by G.A. Keller; and call 44933 of Spotted Towhee by G.A. Keller.
Hooting of Great Horned Owl recorded by C. Peterson.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org October 2016 Narrator: Mary McCann