Parker County Today September 2017 - Page 48

Look up at the sky, what do you see? The sun. The moon. And birds? BY THE WILD BIRD CENTER, WEATHERFORD, TX Yes, birds. Lots of ‘em. As in billions of them. Twice a year, birds representing nearly 300 species begin migrating between North America and more tropical climes to the south. This fall during the daylight and nighttime hours, many will be flying thousands of miles to reach their target. These birds instinctively know where to stop for food and water, but as more and more natural habitats give way to manicured lawns and landscaped development areas, finding a welcom- ing backyard can be hugely beneficial for these weary travelers. Cardinal Feeder, Woodpecker, Bluejay Where neatly trimmed suburban land- scapes now sit was once habitat, which is why many homeowners are now giving up all or part of their lawns to bring the wild back to wildlife, securing nature right in their own backyard. You don’t have to tear up your yard, but do know that the quest for the perfect lawn that’s lush green and weed-free does take away from the natural habi- tats that wildlife and birds use to live. So, what can you do? 46 Consider changing over your lawn or even just part of it. Replace that perfect square of grass with trees, shrubs and flowering plants to help provide birds, native and migrating, clean water, shelter and places to nest and raise their young. Reduce the use of pes- ticides - did you know that U.S. lawn care accounts for 70 million pounds of applied pesticides, 10 times more than what is used in farming? Investigate using natural lawn care remedies such as corn gluten for banishing weeds. gardening - a hobby you can indulge and then relax in as much or as little as you like. Together with your neighbors, the green space of the yards in your community can become a popular rest stop on the highway of migration for many birds. Remove and replace invasive, non-native plants in your landscape with native trees and plants. Oaks, maples, birches, goldenrods, asters, cherry trees and sunflowers are all great landscape enhancing choices, and offer food to birds by way of seeds (as much as we’d like to think so, birds don’t just exist on bird seed and suet) as well as offering shelter, safety and shade. Fruiting plants and seeds, dogwoods, serviceberries and viburnums, pro- vide fuel to migrating and resident birds during the season and also offer branches and coverage for birds to tuck into during inclement weather. Evergreen trees an B6'V'2&fFRW6VVB6VFW"f"&&G2F&VvW@WfW'6V6f"&Rf&F&WBFfR&&Bg&VFǒG2f6CGGwwrVGV&&rG6f&&&G26WGFrWfVVFr7FFvFf&WGbfVVFW"7GW2F66FFPf&WGb&&B7V6W2W2FFr&&B&FgVbg&W6vFW"G0G&VVFW6ǒFR&WFW2bFW6R֖w&F'G&fVW'2WfV6Vff'G26&G26আfRVvgV7BvFƖfR2f&6W2B6W"F2V"FR&VWWPWBf"FR&&R6V6wVW7BW"&B&&G2&R6'BF7F6P֖w&G2BfǒǒfWrVG&VB֖W2vGG&7FrFVFW &6&B2gVvF7B&&B7V6W2B&ǒ6VVFR&VBvVWFfGFVB&B6VBV6ǒ&V6RFV"66VRf"FW6PF2v&VV&W"7&VFr&&Bg&VFǐ6VG2W7BFW"7V7Bb6֖w&Fr&&G2v( BFV6Fvf"W7B'&Vb7FW &B'WB7F&VBf"6WfW&F22FW'FRbFR&W7B