June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week. It’s a week to celebrate and educate about pollinating animals, such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, which are extremely vital to our ecosystem. Pollinators support much of our wildlife, lands and watersheds. Nearly 80% 0f the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world that produce all of our food and plant-based industrial products require pollination by animals.
There are so many simple ways to welcome pollinators into our home gardens and other outdoor spaces. In addition to helping the earth’s ecosystem and food supply, you’ll also experience the fascination and wonder that comes from observing the animals you attract. Here are a few ways to get more involved:
Find or add an event through Pollinator Partnership, a wonderful resource about pollinators year-round.
Garden for wildlife with tons of tips and guides from the National Wildlife Federation, which offers a Certified Backyard Habitat Program.
Check out NWF gardeners’ favorite plants for attracting pollinators.
Find more information about gardening for wildlife from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Join the Great Sunflower Project and many other citizen science projects that allow you to help researchers right from your own backyard or a local park.
Spring at the Bird Cafe and bird feeder activity.
Make a quick and easy bird feeder to attract and observe birds.
Enjoy beautiful nature during Pollinator Week and throughout the year!
Photos: Susan Sachs Lipman, Public Domain
Posted in Deck Garden, Nature, Porch Swing, The Great Outdoors
Tagged Attracting Butterflies, Bird Feeder, Butterflies, Citizen Science, Costa Rica Butterflies, Gardening, Gardening for Wildlife, Gardening with Kids, Great Sunflower Project, Habitat Gardening, National Wildlife Federation, Nature, Nature Activities, Polliinator Week
We’ve had some lovely birds greet us this spring, more than in recent memory. They feast on our seed — bars of Birdola songbird and gold finch feed that fit in a wire-cage bird feeder (though you can make your own feed, too. A recipe follows.)
Our visitors this year include the blue Western Scrub-Jay, the very cheery House Finch, and a young Titmouse. Which creatures are visiting you?
This is a really easy bird feeder to make:
Pinecone Bird Feeder
• Pinecone (you can substitute a toilet-paper tube)
• 2′–3′ of string
• 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, peanut or other nut butter, suet, or lard
• 1/4 cup cornmeal or oatmeal
• 2 1/2 cups mixture of birdseed (e.g., sunflower and millet; check your local nursery for suggestions), chopped nuts, and dried fruit
• Mixing bowl
• Plate, shallow dish, or pie tin
• Spoon or butter knife
Tie the string around one end of the pinecone.
In mixing bowl, combine peanut butter or other spread with meal.
Spread that mixture over the pinecone with the knife or spoon.
Pour the birdseed and feed ingredients onto the plate. Roll the pinecone in the seeds.
Hang from a tree branch or window eave.
Photos: Susan Sachs Lipman
Posted in Deck Garden, Nature, Porch Swing, Seasons, Snapshot, The Great Outdoors
Tagged American Robin, Backyard Birding, Bird Feeder, Birdfeeder, Birding, Birds, Habitat Gardening, Make Bird Feeder, Make Your Own Bird Food, Marin Birds, Mill Valley, Nature, Nature Activities, Nature Crafts, Northern California Birds, Pinecone Bird Feeder, Spring, Western Scrub Jay