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EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
 / Travel & Outdoor
Birds & Blooms

Birds & Blooms

February/March 2020

Birds & Blooms is the #1 bird and garden magazine in North America with more than 1 million subscribers. We pride ourselves in celebrating the “beauty in your own backyard” with a mix of expert advice and personal stories from our family of readers. Our magazine covers a wide range of topics such as attracting hummingbirds, building birdhouses, gardening for butterflies, feeding birds for less, growing veggies, tales of readers’ birding experiences, plus a whole lot more.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
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SUBSCRIBE
$12
7 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

1 min.
from the editor

Sometimes I travel for the sole purpose of seeing birds. Other times it’s for pleasure with my husband or friends. But no matter where I am or what I’m doing, my eyes inevitably drift toward the sky looking for a fine-feathered friend that is new to me. Two years ago while flats fishing off the coast of the Florida Keys, Captain Tim was driving the boat, my husband was reeling in a tarpon and I was gazing up at magnificent frigatebirds overhead. We all laughed at how I was more interested in what was in the sky than what was in the water. And although the focus of that vacation wasn’t birding, I remember the frigatebirds, white ibises and flocks of friendly brown pelicans just as much as everything else.…

1 min.
this month

BECOME A FIELD EDITOR Join our online community of nature enthusiasts and contribute to the magazine! Apply for this volunteer role at birdsandblooms.com/fieldeditors. Read The Little Gardener by Julie A. Cerny is an illustrated guide for adults who want to inspire the little ones in their lives to connect with the natural world. Write Send a handwritten note to a friend or loved one. Find a selection of adorable nature themed notecards at carvedesigns.etsy.com. CELEBRATE February is National Bird Feeding Month. Join the fun by encouraging a friend or family member to feed birds or put up a new backyard feeder or birdbath. birdsblooms @birdsblooms birdsblooms…

1 min.
cherry on top

Higan Cherry Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’, Zones 4 to 8 Voluminous semi-double pink flowers bloom in late March or earlier in warmer climates. But as the cultivar name suggests, spring isn’t the only time this tree shines. In fall, look for a crown of thin, yellow leaves. You may see a second but more sparse bloom, too. Attracts: Light needs: Full sun to partial shade Size: Up to 35 feet tall. Grown for: Disease resistance, hardiness and a second bloom. Foliage: Narrow lance-shaped or ovate leaves. Similar species: Try Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’, known as weeping higan cherry. Dramatic blooms emerge in early spring before leaves sprout. BIRD BENEFITS Birds are drawn to the tree’s shelter and dark pea-sized fruits that develop in late summer.…

3 min.
the cat’s meow

If you hear something that sounds like a cat screeching in the distance interspersed with bubbly chirping, you might wonder what all of the commotion is about. It’s probably a gray catbird doing what it does best—singing. The catbird’s call is—to say the least—distinctive. But that harsh sound imitating a cat’s meow is just one of the noises these singers make. Catbirds carry more than 100 different tunes ranging from crooning to mimicry. That ability runs in the family. As a member of the Mimidae family, the catbird is closely related to mockingbirds and brown thrashers. “You can tell a catbird’s song because it’s very long and highly variable,” explains Mike Webster, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library. “It sounds improvised and they tend not to repeat notes, whereas…

4 min.
bounce-back champs

1 Corn poppy PAPAVER RHOEAS, ANNUAL Corn poppies add vibrant color and are exceedingly easy to raise from seed. Also called Flanders poppies, these vigorous red flowers miraculously arose from battlefields after the end of World War I hostilities in Europe. Check to see if they’re invasive to your area before planting. Why we love it: The crepe-papery flowers paint meadows red in late spring and early summer. Leave the seedpods in place to grow next year’s crop. 2 Mexican sunflower TITHONIA ROTUNDIFOLIA, ANNUAL Just like its namesake, Mexican sunflower is very easy to grow. In a sunny spot with good drainage, the nearly 4-foot-tall flowers spring up in a matter of months. Keep deadheading for flowers that last through the entire summer. Why we love it: It is attractive to butterflies and bees in summer, and…

2 min.
organic pest solutions

It’s easier than you may think to manage pests while minimizing the harm to pollinators, birds and the backyard wildlife you enjoy. Start by picking plants that suit your growing conditions, indoors and out, and keep them in good shape to reduce the risk of unwanted attacks. When you first notice a potential problem, decide if control is needed. Only a small percentage of insects actually harm plants; the majority help you grow beautiful and productive gardens. When harmful bugs bombard plants, consider waiting for predators and birds to step in and take control. Green lacewings, lady beetles, parasitic wasps and mantids like praying mantis are just a few of the insects that eat troublesome pests. Outdoor Fixes If you need to intervene, select the option that is most eco-friendly. Use a strong blast…