“Things are happening fast. It’s exciting, but we have to think quickly about how to act,” This remark, made by Larry Weaner, President of New Directions for American Landscapes, resonated soundly with the audience at the 2015 NDAL Symposium. Land, and species both animal and vegetable, are disappearing rapidly in direct correlation to one another. Giving thought to environmental science in our landscaping choices has become less an option than an imperative. The ecosystem services that give … [Read More...]
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Meet other passionate wildlife gardeners from around the country. Share your successes. Learn from your failures. Discover the best resources to help you create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your gardens with native plants so that you will attract more birds, butterflies, native pollinators, and other wildlife to your garden.
Stop with the honey bee talk. Every day I come across a half dozen new articles on the plight of the European honey bee -- it's become sheer agony for me. Frankly, even though neonics and glyphosate and modern farming techniques play a key role in honey bee loss (among many other life forms), I … [Read More...]
Wet spots in lawns and gardens can be problematic. Lawns may grow ‘unsightly’ mosses and lichens and garden plants may rot and die in pools of water. Often these wet spots are seasonal and appear after snowmelt or heavy rains. Frequently these water-logged depressions totally dry out later in the … [Read More...]
When we think of pollinators, the first ones that come to mind are bees. However, when the first flowers appeared on the planet there were no bees in sight. It would be several million years before they would enter the scene. Butterflies would take even longer. So, who in the world was visiting … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
With a foot of snow blanketing my high-desert yard and a warm wind blowing ("warm" defined as above freezing, after two weeks of sub-zero nights), I'm thinking of spring. Specifically, I'm thinking about ways to restore more nest habitat for pollinators around my year-old house and … [Read More...]
Cuckoo bees are named after the European cuckoo bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. A North American example would be the brown-headed cowbird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. Other terms for this practice are brood parasitism or cleptoparasitism. Why would a … [Read More...]
It's flyover country out here in Nebraska. Each spring millions of waterfowl come through on their way to breeding grounds in the Dakotas (some 90% of North American ducks breed there), Canada, and the arctic circle. 90 minutes west of here is a pretty famous migration that brings in big tourist … [Read More...]
Wildlife needs are pretty basic: food, cover, and water. Posts at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens often address FOOD in the way of native nectar plants and native berry-producing plants. I’ve had fun addressing COVER: how you can help birds and other wildlife avoid becoming a predator’s next … [Read More...]
As a native landscaper, clients hire me to control invasive species, which often requires the use of pesticides. Since my business falls under the “for hire” category, Wisconsin law requires that I'm certified every five years and that I pay a yearly licensing fee. Even if I don’t apply pesticides … [Read More...]
Sometimes you know there are critters in your garden, but you don’t necessarily get to see their flying, furry or feathery self. How can you tell? Well, they leave signs. Signs can be something as simple as a sound. Many birds are secretive and some, like owls are nocturnal and not everyone … [Read More...]
Birds and Other Wildlife
Cedar Waxwings Bombycilla cedrorum and Bohemian Waxwings Bombycilla garrulus are skittish birds and feel more comfortable in a flock of their kind. The social waxwings do not defend a territory. They do not have a song as such. Their wispy trebles of "zeee," "zeeet" as they call while flying from … [Read More...]
Chickadees are nervous little things. We have a feeder near our kitchen window during the winter months and enjoy watching them, along with finches and sparrows, flitting to the feeder, grabbing a sunflower seed, and darting away just as quickly to a nearby perch where they’ll strip off the husk and … [Read More...]
Marquette County, where I call home, boasts the third highest deer density in the state of Wisconsin. Last I checked, numbers are bumping 50 deer per square mile. Not surprising given the habitat. The mosaic of cropland interspersed with fragmented woodlots and wetlands, considered prime by the deer … [Read More...]