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Old 10-11-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default SORENSON: Berries, native flowers turn yard into a paradise for birds

SORENSON: Berries, native flowers turn yard into a paradise for birds
By Sharon Sorenson
Posted October 7, 2012 at 7:22 a.m.

SORENSON: Berries, native flowers turn yard into a paradise for birds Evansville Courier & Press
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Now, during early October nights, billions of migrating birds cross our skies, drop down in the wee hours of morning, feast and snooze during the day, and take off again at nightfall, continuing their journeys south.

Only a few visit feeders and then only rarely. Where, then, can you see them? Where should you watch?

Some like berries. So, native flowering dogwoods, pokeberries, beautyberries, hawthorn, small crabapples, wild grapes, even apple trees draw migrants to the buffet. While rose-breasted grosbeaks will take sunflower and safflower seeds, they really pig out on our dogwood berries. Other folks report rosies feeding in
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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Here's a thought: If you're still mowing grass, you still have room to plant.
Amen!
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
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What a great article! Thanks for sharing.

I like that they stress the idea of native birds needing native bugs that require native plants. I did, however, almost cringe when I read:
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...look for them foraging, resting and roosting in dense vegetation... and weedy (bold italics added) patches of native flowers, grasses and sedges.
I must say I loved this though:
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Since we see in the yard only those birds the habitat supports, by developing bird-paradise habitat, you'll draw them in. No place to plant, you say? Here's a thought: If you're still mowing grass, you still have room to plant.
I found that very inspiring...I feel I want to dedicate myself more and more to providing berry-producers and wildflowers year-round...but it sure feels good to know that my biggest bang so far is in the fall...a good place to start it would seem.

And finally, here is a photo of a female rose-breasted grosbeak (I think) from our yard...notice the pokeberry juice staining her beak.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
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Hey, benj!

Great minds think alike, I guess.

(I must admit I have TONS of places still to plant. I'd love to get to the point where I'm mowing mostly paths--and even having the paths of tough, low-growing natives that can take foot-traffie. )
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