Category Archives: Birds

Dark-Eyed Juncos Have Arrived; Get Ready for Winter

  The dark-eyed juncos arrived yesterday. I was eating breakfast when I first saw them, flapping around in the waterfall out by my pond.  I wondered if they had been flying through the night to get here. About 30 of these little black and white birds seemed anxious to get a drink, take a bath, make Read More →

Native Plants Provide Fall Color & Feed Wildlife

Want to add some color to a small urban garden while helping out our native wildlife?  Try planting some native perennials. Below are a few of my favorites.   Bees need food throughout the growing season, and there are many native plants that can provide a late-season meal for pollinators. In this photo a bumblebee is Read More →

Planting for Pollinators in DC on Earth Day

This morning commuters across the District were reminded it was Earth Day when representatives from the city’s Department of Energy & the Environment (DDOE) arrived at 13 different Metro stations to hand out seed packets. “Want some seeds to help us plant pollinators?” DDOE Director Tommy Wells repeatedly asked people on their way to work and Read More →

Got Good Bird Pictures? Send them to Cornell

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology wants to see your bird pictures. Each week between now and February 29, 2016, the lab is accepting submissions for its annual BirdSpotter photography contest.  Visitors to the website will then vote on their favorite pics. Winners will be rewarded with prizes such as bird feeders, t-shirts, framed artwork and Read More →

Beekeepers, Neonicotinoids & the Pollinator Protection Act

Beekeepers Come Out to Support the Proposed MD Bill About Neonicotinoids “This place is a hive of activity,” one man quipped as beekeepers entered the Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit dressed in their white canvas suits in Annapolis, MD last night. They had come, mesh hoods hanging down their backs, to show support for the proposed Pollinator Protection Read More →

Help Me Tell Stories about the Urban Environment

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just joined the Beacon journalism project, and starting this February I’ll be writing stories about the urban environment for a project called “Greening the City.” I have always been fascinated by the intersection of nature and people in crowded urban spaces, and the ways in which green space can make Read More →

Are Hummingbird Feeders Worth the Trouble?

I think hummingbirds are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth, and they inspire me with their mix of sassy, scrappy behavior and elegant outward appearance.  It is wonderful to have them visit my yard and hover around busily.   Last week a woman in my neighborhood posed this question: How could she make the whole Read More →

New Study finds Bird Eye Disease in Surprising Number of Species

Researchers working with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have found that a bird eye disease which was previously thought to only infect  finches is actually prevalent in many different species of birds that regularly visit US backyards. Until now, the bacterium, known as Mycoplasma gallisepticum, was so commonly found in the red-colored House Finches that it Read More →

Seen a Bird Nest in a Funky Place?

The Cornell Lab or Ornithology wants to know:  have you seen a bird nest in a funky place? Photograph it or write about it and you could win a prize. Some of my favorite nests have been under highway bridges, and on top of commercial signs in downtown areas. The Funky Nests in Funky Places Read More →

How to Feed the Birds Without Buying Seed

Want to Know How to Feed the Birds Without Spending Money? Let your Native Plants Go to Seed! Although I used to love having seed feeders,  I gave up using them in my yard many years ago when I was living in a little rental row home in Baltimore.  The rats in that neighborhood were Read More →

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