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gardening

October Planting for Wildlife

October is the perfect time to plant for the benefit of next year's birds, including this Cedar Waxwing. Your new plants will put their resources into their roots rather than leaves or flowers. And the season's reliable rain will reduce the need to water. To attract the greatest variety of birds... read more »

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Native Plants Attract Native Birds

A native garden provides natural, sustainable habitat that welcomes native birds to your yard. Native plants offer sustenance year round: nectar in spring and summer, along with berries and fruits, and nuts and seeds in autumn and winter. They provide shelter from the weather and protection from... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Landscaping for Wildlife II - Interview with Russell Link

Russell Link of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife tells how to go about planting to attract birds. He suggests that you take a walk in your neighborhood to see what plants do well. Concentrate on providing structure in the landscape, from ground covers to shrubs to mid-sized trees to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Birds and Berries

Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Our little mountain-ash is all alive with [birds.] A dozen robins on it at once ... plucking the berries... A robin will swallow half a dozen berries, at least, in rapid succession..." If you, too, enjoy watching birds eat berries, then consider planting trees and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Landscaping for Wildlife I - Interview with Russell Link

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... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Clark's Nutcracker - Nature's Arborist

High in the mountains, a Clark's Nutcracker buries a cache of whitebark pine seeds. This will be nearly its sole source of food until the next summer. But some of those cached seeds will germinate, spawning a small grove of pines. Whitebark pines are one of more than 20 species of pines worldwide... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Cedar Waxwings - Sleek and Handsome

When courting in spring, male and female Cedar Waxwings communicate with distinctly different calls and, perched side by side, often pass back and forth between them a berry or other small fruit or even a flower petal. Waxwings display a wealth of eye-catching plumage. If you relish the company... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Bird Scare - Interview with Carl and Rita Comfort

When it's time to pick their four acres of wine grapes, Carl and Rita Comfort would rather the birds didn't beat them to it. Without some form of bird control, they could lose about 10% of their harvest. So at their vineyard, Comforts of Whidbey, they broadcast the distress calls of birds, to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

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

Birds Need Water in Summer

Summer is a crucial time to keep your backyard birds supplied with water for drinking and bathing. Birdbaths set at different heights serve a great variety of birds. A wide, shallow birdbath that deepens a bit in the center will suit a broad range of birds - including this Orange-crowned Warbler.... read more »

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