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Birds and Blooms ExtraBirds and Blooms Extra

Birds and Blooms Extra November 2018

Even more of what you love from North America's #1 bird and garden magazine, celebrating the beauty in your own backyard.  Published on the months in between the Birds and Blooms magazine, Extra features vivid photographs, useful tips and expert advice to inform, inspire, and connect enthusiasts who share a passion for backyard birds and gardening.

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7 Numéros


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from the editor

Before I go birding I always check the Explore tab on the eBird.org website. There, I can quickly see which birds people in my community have spotted at my favorite locales. I like to know which ones to look for, especially during spring and fall migration. If you’ve never heard of it, eBird is an online citizen science community for people to log sightings, keep track of personal lists and photos, and explore birding hot spots around the world. Field editor Grace Huffman uses eBird’s sightings map when she’s trying to find the best places to see less common birds. And another field editor, Ken Orich, regularly submits his findings to eBird for others in his community to see. The citizen science trend is exploding right now, with new projects popping up…

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this month

GET AWAY See South Texas specialties, such as green jays, green kingfishers and great kiskadees, when you attend the 25th Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Nov. 7-11. Read From ornamental pineapple to fiddle-leaf fig, find everything you need to know about indoor greenery in The Little Book of House Plants by Emma Sibley. Make Feed more birds this fall with a functional and festive wreath! Attach popcorn and cranberries to a wreath form and hang! ASK OUR PROS! Stumped about fall cleanup or how to make sure your plants survive winter? Send your autumn conundrums to our garden expert: birdandblooms.com/submit CELEBRATE National Take a Hike Day is Nov. 17. Grab your binocs and hit the trails!…

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shades of autumn

Black chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa, Zones 3 to 9 A lovely and low-maintenance year-round shrub, chokeberry develops bluish black fruit that songbirds eat in fall and winter. Butterflies are attracted to the spring flowers, and some coral hairstreaks use it as a host. Attracts: Light needs: Full sun or part shade. Size: 3 to 6 feet tall and wide. Grown for: White spring blooms and black fall fruit. Foliage: Leaves turn purple or red in autumn. Cultivars to try: Viking, shown here, blooms earlier than other chokeberries. Autumn Magic is known for fragrant flowers. BIRD BENEFITS Birds devour black chokeberry’s late-season crop, but the shrub also offers dense thickets that provide shelter and nesting sites.…

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seeing red

Nicknamed “mopes” by Newfoundlanders for their subdued and approachable personalities, pine grosbeaks tend to freeze rather than fly when they feel threatened. Passersby usually walk right by without noticing the robin-size birds among subalpine conifers where they breed during summer, but they’re easily spotted foraging for seeds, berries and buds in the winter. Pine grosbeaks are named for their stubby, thick bills, which they use to munch seeds and snip buds and needles off trees. Showy pink-red feathers on the male’s head, chest and back, and bold black-and-white bars on its wings brighten backyards when these feeder-friendly birds show up. The female is the same size as her mate and has appealing plumage, too, with a yellow head and rump, and white-banded wings. Juvenile males resemble females until their second year,…

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the feed

HEED THE CALL During breeding season, mated pairs show their monogamous bond with identical flight calls. Other times, flocks that forage together use similar calls as a way to keep track of the group. “I watch pine grosbeaks spit out the apple part of ornamental crabapples. They are only interested in the seeds.”Ken Orich LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA TALKING BACK According to naturalists at Rocky Mountain National Park, if you toot like a pygmy-owl, pine grosbeaks might show up and sing along. RANGE MAP LEFT: TIM ZUROWSKI/SHUTTERSTOCK; RIGHT: JOHN PIZNIUR…

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burgundy blooms

1 Diva dahlia DAHLIA ‘DIVA’, ZONES 8 TO 10 Prepare to be dazzled by this diva! The color of crushed ripe raspberries, its dramatic blooms are a favorite for both dahlia and cut flower growers. Large 4- to 6-inch blossoms with pointed petals sit atop tall, straight and sturdy stems summer through fall. Where dahlias are not hardy, their tubers need to be dug up and stored over winter before the first frost arrives. Why we love it: With full and perfectly formed blooms, it looks lovely as a cut flower in bouquets. 2 Mapira Asiatic lily LILIUM ASIATIC ‘MAPIRA’, ZONES 4 TO 9 One of the darkest lilies on the market, Mapira’s satiny petals are deep maroon at the center and fade to burgundy. Plant the bulbs 6 inches deep in early spring for an…