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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Backyard Birding

This morning as I sit on my porch enjoying the shaded cool breeze. I have just heard a Pileated woodpecker laugh from the edge of my garden where we have allowed a dead tree to lie not far from the spot where it fell. Goldfinches balance precariously on plant stems waiting their turn at Coreopsis seeds which have been left to mature.


Other Goldfinches are tackling the spent flower base of Prairie blazingstar (Liatris pycnostrachy)  a wonderful purple plant that keeps blooming on the top even as seeds mature above. Butterflies join in, flitting from one pink Coneflower to another.
They visit my yard because the flowers are there.


I am telling you this to remind you that what you plant is as important as putting out birdfeeders if you want to attract birds. A well-planned yard will attract not just birds and butterflies but other wildlife too to complete the life cycles that are so important to the health and vitality of our gardens and our Earth.
I seldom write a blog entry on Saturday but last night on facebook I learned that there is a wonderful book out there once again in print for us to use as a resource for planning our gardens and yards. 
Backyard Birding: Using Natural Gardening to Attract BirdsJulie Zickefoose, the author, began her career as a field biologist for Nature Conservancy (not a bad start) since then she has advanced through the ranks of birders and naturalists until now she is now one of the most respected nature commentator, painter and writers we have. She also regularly writes for the magazine, Birdwatchers Digest. 
This book was once out of print but lucky for us that is no longer true. It has been reprinted by Skyhorse Publishing and Amazon is, of course carrying it. Just click on the link below or at the beginning to get yours.
I can't wait to get my new edition.

12 comments:

texwisgirl said...

oh those goldfinches on your purple spires is just beautiful! i wish we had them here in summer. :)

Out on the prairie said...

The liatris is just starting to bloom around here.I get quite a few finches in my flowers.

Laloofah said...

I absolutely adore goldfinches, and these are such delightful photos of them!

Thank you for the book recommendation, too!

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful post and photos. I love the shot of the goldies on the Liatris. I have been planting for the birds and it seems we have a lot of sunflower plants growing from dropped seed. The birds love to hang on the sunflowers.

Julie Zickefoose said...

You've got such glorious Liatris, Nelle! Love that plant in combination with butterfly weed and coneflower. Thank you very much for the plug. So sweet of you. I'm glad the book is back out. I could have been selling it for years at my talks, and now I can! My word verification is WOOTSEST.
Yeah!

Helene said...

Hi!
I enjoied watching you blog with loads of stunning pictures!!

I'll come visiting again, for sure!!

Helene from Norway

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

You must be a happy person with a porch and a view like that ...

Cheryl said...

I can imagine the scene.....wonderful that you care for the wildlife (as do I)
It gives me hope to know there are like minded people, taking care of mother earth.

Many blessings to you.......

Anne C said...

What a wonderful bird! I love birds, And I am trying to make my garden birdfriendly. You have wonderful pictures!

Jeanne Klaver said...

We have a Pileated woodpecker here, too; sometimes I can capture a photo, sometimes I enjoy just hearing the raps on the wood. Beautiful Goldfinch photo!

JSK said...

The color of the goldfinches is wonderful against the mauve of the liatris.
Reminds me. I should go down to our wildflower patch and see if the goldfinches are interested in any of the seed developing there now. I know they will be interested later in the Fall but maybe they're already there.

Judy ~ Through My Garden Window said...

Beautifully put and beautifully photographed! I leave my coneflowers to seed every year so the birds (and darn squirrels) can enjoy them. I love watching the Chickadees sway to and fro on the seed heads.