With summer in full force in our yard, there’s a variety of subjects on my mind, including missing lizards, mating beetles and even something for plant lovers – so I thought I would provide an update on previous subjects I’ve written about. [Read more…]
We’ve encountered two dead mature rats in our yard the last month. Neither had marks, indicating they were not killed by a critter or injury. So we conjecture they succumbed to rat poison put out by neighbors or more likely, the pest companies they have employed. I’ve written a series on the rodent issues, including problems with secondary poisoning (see Our Ailing Wildlife) but it seems a reminder is warranted. [Read more…]
The daylight’s savings time change made it harder but I’m so glad I attended the Redlands Conservancy birdwatching event this morning at San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary (click here for previous article on this special preserve in Redlands CA). Allyson Beckman, who helps monitor endangered species as a field biologist with the Santa Ana Watershed Association, shared her significant knowledge. She’s also helped usher in a success story at the preserve with the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo, a small bird whose appearance is more gray than yellow in the West. Numbers tell it best: fifteen years ago a colleague of hers documented 5 males. Last year: 151.
Here are my takeaways from Beckman’s walking talk about the local and migrant birds found in San Timoteo Canyon. [Read more…]
We’ve had two birds die from hitting windows over the last two weeks. It used to happen in our last house, which featured big picture windows facing a canyon. But now I think the native plant and wildlife friendly habitat we’ve nurtured is bringing more birds to our Redlands CA house.
Here are some suggestions from several bird organizations: the Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, along with a local bird expert. [Read more…]
An op-ed article I wrote for the Redlands Daily Facts, entitled “Understanding the Consequences of Asian Psyllid Treatment,” is being published tomorrow. It was prompted when I noted that articles were not mentioning the negative effects of the recommended pesticide treatments for an alarming pest that is attacking citrus trees. Some important background first: our area is resuming treatments for the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the bug responsible for devastating Florida citrus, which has made its way to Southern California. Most commercial groves have been treated. Now residents have the option to have their backyard citrus trees treated. Many of these points apply these common pesticides being used of other uses also.
Here are my main points after doing research on this subject, plus references are listed below: [Read more…]
After our cold spell here in Southern California — it actually got into the high 20s in our neighborhood, reminding me of my many years in the Midwest – the resident and visiting birds are out in full force.The dozens of wintering Robins, and the colorful Cedar Waxwings, who come all the way down from Canada and Alaska, especially rely on our winter berries. [Read more…]
I’ve written a number of articles on how native plants usher in wildlife. I read an interesting article, “Grow Native Plants” in The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Spring 2014 Living Bird Magazine, which gives a simple recipe for attracting warblers, the well-loved but evasive group of songbirds. Plant native plants. [Read more…]