Entries by admin

Fishing lines pose hazards for birds

  On a beautiful summer morning a couple of years ago I headed to North Park to photograph birds. On a tiny island in the lake a mulberry tree had fallen down, its berry-laden branches hanging over the water line. I soon spotted cedar waxwings eating the berries and flying off again. I was really […]

Our House, a Wildlife Habitat

When our yard was certified as a Wildlife Habitat I assumed that our house would remain almost free of animals, except for our two cats. Yet gradually, sneakily, animals have taken advantage of our good nature. First they took over our in-house garage. Mice nest behind or under our accumulated belongings. Birds such as wrens check out […]

Water is Essential for Winter Birds

Water is essential for birds at any time of year. Birds need it for drinking and bathing to keep those feathers clean. It is even more crucial in winter, when ponds and streams are frozen or snow-covered. If you want to provide water for your backyard visitors year-round, consider adding a birdbath heater. You will be rewarded by […]

A Native Garden Attracts Many Migratory Birds

There are four requirements to attract wildlife to a garden: food, water, shelter, and a place to raise their young. Over the past few years we have added quite a few native plants to our garden. Some of them surround our small pond, making it not only a focal point in our backyard, but also […]

Measuring up the Gardening Year

This summer has been wetter than usual, at least until August arrived. Luckily, a native garden can cope with all kinds of weather conditions. And for dry spells we have a rain barrel that provides free water.Every year we observe new kinds of insects in our certified wildlife habitat and we never cease to admire […]

Birding at Magee Marsh

Black-throated green warbler American woodcock   We recently visited Magee Marsh in Ohio during the height of the warbler migration season. Warblers, however, are not the only birds you can see and hear in the marshes. I believe it should be called the red-winged blackbird capitol of the world because I have never seen so […]

Bird baths are essential for winter birds

Bird baths and other water features attract many birds to a yard. We all know that water is essential for all creatures during the heat of summer, but birds also need water in winter. Keeping a bird bath ice-free is a challenge, so a couple of years ago we purchased a bird bath heater. It […]

Rufous Hummingbird

Last week I learned that a rufous hummingbird was banded on Mt Washington in Pittsburgh. I had never even seen a rufous hummingbird in the summer, let alone at the end of November. The homeowner was more than happy to accommodate me when I asked if I could photograph the hummer. I could hear its […]

Autumn Serviceberry

When we purchased our serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), we bought it especially because of its awesome fall foliage. It did not disappoint, as the images I took recently attest. The serviceberry is also called shadbush or Juneberry. In spring we admire its delicate white flowers, which soon turn into tasty red berries (just ask cedar waxwings […]

Successes and Failures of the Gardening Year

It has been a challenging garden year. The warm spell in March fooled the trees and other plants, which flowered weeks before their usual time. May and June brought heat and dry weather, forcing us to water not only annuals, but also on occasion our native plants. With the gardening year winding down, it’s time […]