ZINIO logo
EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Travel & Outdoor
Birds & Blooms

Birds & Blooms

December/January 2021

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.

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

in this issue

2 min.
winter cheer

As long as my feeder is full and hungry birds like chickadees and cardinals let black oil sunflower seeds fall to the ground, dark-eyed juncos are a sure sight in my yard throughout the cold months. I always think of them as the cleanup crew because they busily forage for dropped seeds with their adorable pink bills. Juncos are an interesting species, with different forms calling various parts of the U.S. home. In some cases, these forms have very distinct field marks, despite all being known as dark-eyed juncos. Bird pros Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman explain it in detail in “Junco Family Tree” on page 36. Also in this issue, we feature the 12 finalists of the Backyard Photo Contest. Our staff narrowed the entries down to four favorites in each category—birds,…

1 min.
winter sweets

Wildfire Winterberry Ilex verticillata ‘Bailfire’, Zones 4 to 9 This large female winterberry starts to shine with loads of red berries as temperatures drop. Winterberries are native to the eastern U.S., require little maintenance, and tolerate clay and wet soil. Attracts: Light needs: Full sun. Size: 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. Grown for: A showpiece hedge that doesn’t mind moisture. Foliage: Dark green, turning yellow in autumn. How to get berries: Wildfire needs a male plant to produce its signature fruit. Grow Jim Dandy, a prolific pollenizer, nearby to see Wildfire’s benefits. BIRD BENEFIT Watch for berry lovers such as robins, bluebirds and cedar waxwings. They gobble up the bright fruit and appreciate the cover the shrub provides.…

2 min.
voice of the northwest

When looking for words to best describe the varied thrush, the phrase dramatically beautiful certainly comes to mind. About the size and shape of the American robin, this fancy thrush sports a bold black band that resembles a necklace on its rich orange breast that contrasts with a blue-gray back, orange wing bars and a wide black stripe across its eye. Females are similar but paler. Seeing this species is a treat, since varied thrushes are “not the kind of bird to sit out in the open,” says Maeve Sowles, president of the Lane County Audubon Society in Oregon. “You hear them more than you see them.” These particular thrushes live year-round in the wet forests of the mild Pacific Coast—all the way from southeastern Alaska to Northern California. Females lay one…

1 min.
the feed

“I was overly happy when I spotted a varied thrush in my yard, and he waited for me to get my camera. Such beautiful and subtle coloration.”Nevin Hayter CROFTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA SPOT THE DIFFERENCE It may be difficult to tell female or juvenile varied thrush apart from robins since they share similar coloring and size. You’ll know it’s a varied thrush if there are stripes on the chest and wings. FEEDING TIME Beckon varied thrushes to your yard with an open-air ground platform feeder. $50 at duncraft.com…

5 min.
gifts to grow on

WHEN TO DIG In warm and dry climates, gardeners can plant paperwhites outside in late fall for winter blooms. 1 Paperwhites NARCISSUS PAPYRACEUS, ZONES 8 TO 10 The pale, delicate blooms are lovely, but it’s the fragrance that makes paperwhites such a winner. In the darkest days of winter, these couldn’t-be-easier bulbs evoke the scent of spring. After forcing, you have to wait only four to six weeks before you start to see the blooms. Why we love it: It doesn’t even need soil to grow. Place bulbs in a shallow dish of stones, with the tops exposed and water just reaching the bottom of the bulb. 2 Amaryllis HIPPEASTRUM SPP., ZONES 8 TO 10 Big, brilliant amaryllis blooms stand tall on strong stems in a variety of hues, such as white, red, pink and orange. With proper…

2 min.
watering made easy

Watering plants inside a dry home, especially in winter, can turn into a daily chore. Houseplant watering systems are here to save the day and to keep you and your plants happier by providing consistent moisture, without overwatering. To pick the right solution, all you need to know is how much water your plants need. Try these handy gadgets—they’ll keep watering to a minimum while keeping your plants looking their best. Spikes and Globes These simple devices let water slowly drip into the soil. Watering spikes require a glass or plastic bottle to act as a reservoir. Watering globes are an all-in-one solution, and many have a pretty blown-glass look. Depending on the size of your container, you may need several spikes or globes to keep your plant evenly watered. These are best…