Entries by admin

Our New Gadget: A Rain Barrel

We are experiencing a very hot and dry summer this year. Our annual flowers need to be watered once or twice a day and even our many native plants are often drooping.It is therefore rather appropriate that we recently installed a rain barrel. Not only does it provide a little relief from a probably astronomical […]

Photo Safari at the National Aviary

I recently participated in a a photo safari at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. The focus was on raptors. While I didn’t garner any flight images, I added some beautiful portraits to my collection. Lanner Falcon Martial Eagle Black Kite

Birding in Florida – Day 4

On our last day in Florida we headed to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers. While less famous than the other reserves we visited, our walk was very fruitful. The 1.2 mile boardwalk began at the Gator Pond, where we indeed saw two immature alligators. Across the pond, a wood stork landed in […]

At "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

On our third day in Florida, we headed to Sanibel Island to visit J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. We had hardly entered the refuge when we spotted a tricolored heron and a white ibis nearby. The day was hot and it was tempting to stay in the shade. Unfortunately, the shade also harbored tiny […]

Birding in Florida 2012

Last week, we spent several days in the Fort Myers area of Florida. On the second day, we headed to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. We soon learned to join groups of people with binoculars. Our first surprise was a Pileated Woodpecker in a tree next to the shelter, entirely oblivious of people. A red-shouldered hawk perched […]

The Great Backyard Bird Count

I have participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count for a few years now. This year, it takes place from February 17 – 20. Anybody from beginner to bird expert can become a citizen scientist. Visit www.birdcount.org to explore past results, brush up on tricky bird IDs, or find out about local events. You can count birds for any length […]

Bringing Nature Home

Since I am a public speaker covering backyard habitats, it is very important that I keep up on my reading about environmental topics. There are few books which have influenced my husband and me as much as Douglas W. Tallamy’s “Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.”This book is my bible […]

Bird Feeding in Winter

This fall I finally decided to hang up a log that we purchased at a birding store a while ago. It has several cut-out holes to stash in food for woodpeckers and chickadees. I put some extra crunchy peanut butter in the holes and didn’t have to wait long for takers. Downy and hairy woodpeckers love […]

Winter Birds Have Arrived

Fall brings many changes to the garden. The hues of leaves change every day and the last hummingbirds and Monarch butterflies have left our area weeks ago. In their stead, the dark-eyed juncos and white-throated sparrows have arrived from Canada. All birds have one thing in common: They want to stock up on food for the […]