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Birds and Blooms ExtraBirds and Blooms Extra

Birds and Blooms Extra

May 2019

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
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$10
7 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
from the editor

“Wilson wears a hat.” That’s the saying I made up to help me identify male Wilson’s warblers. Before my first trip to The Biggest Week in American Birding festival in northwest Ohio, I tried really hard to brush up on my warbler ID skills. As I studied the Wilson’s, I noticed that the black patch on the top of its head looks like a cute little hat. And ever since, that simple saying helps me remember it. Birds in the warbler family are tricky to identify—they’re all relatively the same size, many of them have some variation of yellow and black field marks, and they move so fast they’re gone in the blink of an eye.Although warblers rarely visit backyard feeders, a few species wander into gardens, especially during…

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this month

GRAB THE ESSENTIALS Going birding? Remember to pack the basics: drinking water, binoculars, camera, pocket-sized field guide, bug spray, sunglasses and sunscreen. Read Use tips and advice in The Gardener’s Book of Color by Andrew Lawson to give your landscape a colorful boost. Make Patricia Radder of Westfield, New York, shared this oriole nectar recipe. “It was an instant favorite when the Baltimore orioles returned to our feeders,” she says. Give it a try! (OKIMAGER8661/SHUTTERSTOCK) Bring to a boil: 1 cup grape jelly, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup white sugar, juice from half an orange Simmer, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature and use immediately or store in the refrigerator for future use. CELEBRATE May 3 is National Garden Meditation Day. Spend some time outside!…

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southern blooms

Crimson Bottlebrush Callistemon citrinus, Zones 8 to 11This broadleaf evergreen is grown as a large shrub or small tree in warm areas. Northern gardeners can grow bottlebrush in a container outdoors and overwinter it in a sunroom or greenhouse. Attracts: Light needs: Full sun. Size: 3 to 5 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide. Grown for: Showy blooms. Foliage: Coppery at first, maturing to green. Leaves have a lemon fragrance when crushed. Benefits: Blooms delight intermittently all year in warm regions; easy care.…

access_time2 min.
safflower secrets

ACQUIRED TASTE Avoid using a seed mix that combines safflower with other seeds and nuts. Many birds, like this male northern cardinal, eat safflower but naturally go for sunflower seeds or other foods first. To avoid waste, serve safflower by itself. You’ve just filled your feeders, and before you make it back to the house, a flock of starlings or a couple of ravenous squirrels descend and devour your seed in no time flat. If that sounds familiar, one simple solution might be safflower seed.Safflower ( Carthamus tinctorius ) is a thistlelike annual with bright orange and yellow flowers that’s grown around the world to make cooking oils. The seeds, which are extremely high in protein and fat, are slightly smaller than sunflower seeds. The hard white shell protects…

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the feed

SET THE TABLE Duncraft’s Two Decks Platform & Hopper Feeder is ideal for serving safflower seed. A wire grid covers the platform to keep birds from knocking seeds to the ground. It is made out of natural-looking green and tan recycled plastic, making it both attractive and eco-friendly. Find it at duncraft.com for $100. “I see many birds eating safflower, but squirrels, those ‘rodents in designer duds,’ haven’t even approached the feeder!”Pat Northington AUSTIN, TEXAS TO DYE FOR Safflower was originally cultivated for its colorful red dye, dating as far back as ancient Egypt. Synthetic dyes have replaced it, and safflower is now grown and harvested for the seeds’ oil and as food for animals. CHRIS ALCOCK/SHUTTERSTOCK; DUNCRAFT; SWAPAN PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK…

access_time4 min.
best perennial veggies

1 Welsh onions ALLIUM FISTULOSUM, ZONES 3 TO 9These treasures offer the bright flavor of onions without the wait. Spiky hollow leaves emerge in early spring and can be clipped as fresh scallions until late autumn when the plants die back for winter. Welsh onions are 2 feet tall, super low maintenance and bothered by few pests or diseases. In summer, round white flowers are attractive to bees and beneficial insects. Growing tips: Divide clumps in spring to make more plants. 2 Asparagus ASPARAGUS OFFICINALIS, ZONES 2 TO 8Tender asparagus is a spring treat that’s easy to grow. Plant 1-year-old crowns in a sunny spot with plenty of compost. Hold off harvesting until the third year to give plants time to build up…

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