Nature Happenings

* June is Perennial Garden Month & National Rivers Month
* Luna moths can be seen at night.
* Garter snakes are seen in yards.
* Viceroy, Fritillary and Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly mating seasons.
* Keep nectar feeders fresh and change sugar solutions every three days as the temperature rises.
* Many summer birds are not frequent feeder visitors but will seek out fresh water to beat the summer heat.
* In new open space, watch for various flycatchers to search for flying insects and water to wash them down.
* Some cavity-dwelling species may attempt to start a second brood, so check your nest boxes to clean out sterile eggs, spiders, wasps or other debris and consider adding fresh cedar shavings.
* As the month progresses, feeders can become busy with visiting parents and fledglings. Look for titmice, woodpecker and chickadee young being fed.
* House Wrens are nesting.
* Canada Geese begin molting.
* Crickets begin their nightly serenade.
* Raccoon young are born.
* Keep your feeders and bird baths clean and your seed fresh.
* Titmice and chickadees will start a second nesting.
Fun Facts about Hummingbirds
- There are 18 hummingbird species in North America. Hummingbirds are found no where else in the world except the New World (North, Central, and South America.)

- The oldest known wild hummingbird on record was a Broad-tailed Hummingbird that was over 12 years old.

- There are over 325 species of hummingbirds, making them the second largest bird family in the world, second only to flycatchers.

- Hummingbirds weigh 1/10th of an ounce; about the weight of a penny.

- Hummingbirds' brains are about the size of a BB.

- Hummingbirds' hearts are larger proportionally to their body than any other bird or mammal.

- Hummingbirds have such underdeveloped legs that they are unable to walk.

-A mother hummingbird weighs only about eight times more than her egg.

-Hummingbirds generally lay 2 eggs about the size of a blueberry.

-Hummingbirds use spider webs as glue to attach the nest to a tree branch as well as a binding agent for the building materials.

-The nest is about the size of a golf ball; around 1 ½ inches in diameter.

-Hummingbirds eat about every 10 minutes.

-They do not have an innate preference for red. Each hummingbird must learn the association between red flowers and food.

-Hummingbirds can drink up to twice their body weight in nectar every day (most birds only eat ¼ - ½ their body weight).


Save the Birds

You may have seen the headlines, or read the article published in Science in September 2019; in the first comprehensive study of its kind, assessment of bird populations in North America revealed a decline of 2.9 billion breeding adults since 1970. This represents a loss of nearly 30% of our bird populations, in our lifetimes. As noted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, these losses are 'steep' and 'long-term'. The one sentence summary in the original abstract reads "Cumulative loss of nearly three billion birds since 1970, across most North American biomes, signals a pervasive and ongoing avifaunal crisis."

Both common and rare birds are being lost, and while the extinction of species defines our global biodiversity crisis, the loss of individuals at this rate signals the potential collapse of avian populations and, as noted in the same Science abstract "associated loss of ecosystem integrity, function and services."

The need to act is urgent. If we fail to change the current trends in our bird populations, our risk is greater than the devastating loss of bird life.

The good news is that there are things as individuals, as communities, and as voters that we can all do.
1) Make Windows Safer, Day and Night

2) Keep Cats Indoors

3) Reduce Lawn, and Plant Natives #BringBirds Back-Reduce Lawn and Plant Natives

4) Avoid Pesticides #BringBirdsBack-Avoid Pesticides

5) Drink Coffee That's Good for the Birds

6) Protect Our Planet from Plastic#BringBirdsBack-Use Less Plastic

7) Watch Birds and Share What You See#BringBirdsBack- Do Citizen Science