It’s BioBlitz time. Beginning on Earth Day (Friday, April 22) and running through Migratory Bird Day (Saturday, May 24), hundreds of Audubon International-certified golf courses are hosting events for golfers, their families, their friends (kids too) — to see who can find and ID as many plants and critters (bugs and mushrooms count too) as they possibly can.
Fluffy owlets have a home at Bethpage State Park’s golf course. Photo courtesy Audubon International.
In fact, any golf course in the world is welcome to participate. Most will have skilled group leaders on hand to help with ID or offer a pair of sharp eyes and ears to help people distinguish among the range of plants and animals whose homes border on fairways and roughs — especially those rare or endangered species.
And prizes? There’ll be prizes — but the biggest prize of all is engaging local interest, understanding, and support of the environmental advantages golf courses can provide to their towns.
Staghorn sumac at Bethpage State Park provide great winter food reserves for songbirds. Photo courtesy Audubon International.
January 8, 2013
by Mary M. Woodsen Comments Off on The Giving Tree
Wildlife on Recycled Christmas Tree Photo: Danielle Brigida flickr
Your spent Christmas tree can still bring joy. Deck it out with strings of cranberries and popcorn. Or smear chunks of stale bread with peanut butter and roll them in birdseed, then nest them in the branches. You’ll be investing in one of nature’s best pest patrols: birds that survive winter in fine fettle will, come spring, be scouring your yard for bugs to feed baby. And on stormy days your tree serves a dual purpose: birds and other wildlife—rabbits and squirrels—will find shelter under and among your tree’s branches.
Just be sure you’ve attached the tree firmly to a support so the wind won’t carry it away. You could rope it to a small tree or shrub, a fence railing, or even a stake.
Birds and bunnies aren’t the only critters your Christmas tree could help. The dictionary definition for “creature” includes plants too. If you haven’t had the chance to protect some of your favorite perennials from winter cold, just lop the branches off that tree and layer them over the bed. It’ll help even out the highs and lows as air temps inevitably dip and soar. Helping your perennials stay healthy has a side benefit—beneficial insects overwintering in the neighborhood survive better when protected by a blanket of boughs.