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Birds and Blooms Extra

Birds and Blooms Extra

July 2021

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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United States
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
$3.89(Incl. tax)
$13(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
wild, weird & wonderful

I spend plenty of time taking photographs of hummingbirds in the summer while they’re here in Virginia. This female ruby-throated hummingbird was coming to this trumpet honeysuckle all day. To my surprise (and probably hers), when she buried her beak in this bloom, the flower came off with her! She returned 30 minutes later without the flower but never came back to the same plant. That was a first-time experience that I won’t soon forget. Marc Fahringer DULLES, VIRGINIA An Anna’s hummingbird spent a few minutes entertaining me with a game of peekaboo in my backyard fountain birdbath. Sometimes hummers just keep you in stitches with their antics! Judy Cline SPANAWAY, WASHINGTON For a few summers, a pair of mute swans have been nesting on a lake about a mile away from…

1 min
what’s the best blooming shrub in summer?

My beautyberry bush is covered with tiny cream flowers, soon to be followed by gorgeous purple berries. I so enjoy the sight of the bright fruit nestled among the green leaves. Judy Lightfoot BOWLING GREEN, INDIANA Hydrangea is a classic beauty, and the blooms last for quite a while. Rebecca Williamson BUSHNELL, ILLINOIS Buttonbush’s round flowers are magnets for pollinators. Melinda Myers MUKWONAGO, WISCONSIN My rose of Sharon starts to bloom when a lot of other flowers and shrubs are starting to tucker out. It always puts on a beautiful display. Robin Evans EXPORT, PENNSYLVANIA An interest in native plants led me to a new favorite: shrubby St. John’s wort. I love the look of the yellow blooms in summer. Judy Roberts GRAYTOWN, OHIO Dwarf powderpuffs provide nectar for the bees and returning hummingbirds, and…

6 min
summer table

Ah, summer! Gardens are alive with colorful blooms and buzzing bugs, and your favorite migratory songbirds have returned from their wintering grounds. Natural food for birds is abundant, so many people opt to save a little time and money by taking their feeders down for the season. But definite advantages abound for those who keep birds top of mind and keep their feeders filled this time of year. “I watched two redheaded woodpeckers bring their babies to the tree near the feeders, and I was thrilled they let me watch them feed one of the youngsters.”Beth King BANCROFT, MICHIGAN Oh, Baby! Adult birds are busy raising young during the summer, and feeders provide an easy food source for hardworking parents. After youngsters leave the nest, many adults introduce their offspring to feeders. Woodpeckers…

2 min
hiding in plain sight

Summer tanagers are an explosion of color and look perfectly at home in the tropics, where they spend the winter. But during the warm season, they are found in their core breeding range, which includes the Southeast and stretches all the way into California, with sightings reported as far north as southern Ontario. Roughly the size of red-winged blackbirds, summer tanagers in the western part of their range are 15% larger than the birds in the east. Male summer tanagers are unmistakable. They’re the only entirely red birds found in the United States and Canada. You’d think that it would make them stand out in green treetops, but they can be surprisingly difficult to spot. Females are a leafy greenish yellow, blending in even more. Males about a year old can…

1 min
the sky’s the limit

2: GAP PHOTOS/PAUL DEBOIS - DESIGNERS: HELEN J ROSEVEAR & JANE STONEHAM - RHS HAMPTON COURT FLOWER SHOW 20192. Assorted squarewood planters filled withherbs, strawberry plantsand lobelia create a lushliving wall.. 3, 4: PHOTO COURTESY OF GARDENER’S SUPPLY COMPANY…

1 min
finding awe in alaska

1 Explore the expansive Denali National Park for impressive sightings of American pipits, surfbirds, northern harriers, boreal chickadees, olive-sided flycatchers, long-tailed jaegers and willow ptarmigans. Before you go, see a full species list on the park’s website. 2 Wander Denali’s footpaths for the best birding. Try Horseshoe Lake Trail or Mount Healy Overlook Trail, and ask a naturalist for recommendations before lacing up. For a less intense option, drive the 15 miles of road open to the public or hop on a tour bus. 3 Support park research by participating in the Critical Connections program or actively recording Canada jay sightings. This helps researchers monitor jay populations and examine how climate change may affect the future for this bird. Contact Denali for details. NPS PHOTO/MARY LEWANDOWSKI; JOESBOY/GETTY IMAGES…