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Birds & Blooms

Birds & Blooms

August/September 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.

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United States
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
$5.19(Incl. tax)
$15.60(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
west coast coppers

The second smallest hummingbirds after the Calliopes, Allen’s hummingbirds begin their spring migration early. Moving north in Mexico by December, they reach coastal California and southern Oregon around January or February. “If an Allen’s hummingbird really likes your yard, it will come back year after year. They are very site-specific,” says Barbara Monahan, whose property in Santa Cruz, California, was a banding site for 3,000 hummingbirds for the nonprofit Hummingbird Monitoring Network. Named for Charles Andrew Allen, a California taxidermist, the bird was first classified in 1877. Allen’s hummingbirds are about 3 inches long, and slightly smaller than Anna’s hummingbirds found in the same gardens. Allen’s are similar to rufous hummers, but that species nests farther north. Allen’s have lots of copper plumage, green backs and shimmering red to gold-orange throats. To attract…

1 min
attention, photographers!

Grab your camera and get outside, because it’s once again time for the annual Birds & Blooms Backyard Photo Contest. Send us your best photo in one (or each) of our three categories—birds, butterflies and blooms—for your chance to win the $1,000 grand prize. Enter by Aug. 31! The 12 finalists will be featured in the December/January issue and on our website, where you can vote for your favorites in each category. WIN $1,000! Send us your favorite shots for a chance to score the $1,000 top prize. ENTER TODAY! It’s easier than ever to submit your photos! Go to birdsandblooms.com/contests for the official rules and entry details.…

1 min
what host plants do you grow?

Butterfly weed is so easy to grow. It’s a monarch host plant but so many butterflies also love it! Irma Boucher PRINCE FREDERICK, MARYLAND My favorites for caterpillars include spicebush and tulip poplar trees. Lyn Cosby ATLANTA, GEORGIA For years I have grown fennel and parsley in my butterfly garden. Sarah Doan ROCA, NEBRASKA I delight in watching monarchs deposit their eggs on my common milkweed leaves and I often stare in overwhelming wonder as the beautiful—and ravenous—monarch caterpillars munch. Jo Harris JONESBOROUGH, TENNESSEE Flat-leaf parsley is my No. 1 butterfly host plant. I see swallowtails lay their eggs throughout the summer, and my kids are thrilled when they spot caterpillars. Leslie Henriques GROSSE POINTE, MICHIGAN We grow two pots of dill, one for us and one for the eastern black swallowtail caterpillars. If they get on our stash, we…

2 min
puddlin’ about

Most of us are used to seeing backyard butterflies flutter and dip between blooms in bright sunny gardens, dining on the sweet nectar that gives them the energy they need to survive. Occasionally, though, you’ll find butterflies in totally unexpected places, like mud puddles or the sandy banks of a river—sometimes gathering in extremely large groups. It may seem curious, but the butterflies are engaged in an activity known as puddling. A closer look will reveal they are likely males. “Male butterflies, just like any living creature, are trying to ensure they reproduce,” explains Ryan Fessenden of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest. “One of the ways they do that is by passing on nutrients, along with genetic material, to the females when they are mating.” When butterflies mate, males transfer…

1 min
plentiful plants await

1 Stroll through the Garden of Innovations to see the latest and greatest plant trends in real life, including the newest annuals, perennials and ornamental trees and shrubs. The landscape changes by the season, so it’s a worthwhile stop every time you visit. 2 Learn what to avoid in the Toxic Plants Garden. This small tucked-away space showcases about 40 species that are potentially dangerous. The point isn’t to scare you, but rather help you recognize and identify plants you may encounter in the wild. 3 Wander in the dry heat of the Arid Regions Greenhouse, featuring cactus species from the Americas and succulents from Africa. Shapes and textures, and a few blooms, abound as you wind your way through the dry habitat.…

3 min
for the reader

Find the Hummingbird In each issue, we hide a hummingbird like the one above left. Enter to win at birdsandblooms.com/contests if you find it. Winners receive a one-year subscription to Birds & Blooms. In the June/July issue, we hid it on page 40. HIDDEN OBJECT GUIDELINES No purchase necessary to enter to win. Purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes is open to legal residents age 18 years or older of the U.S., its territories and possessions, or of Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec). Sweepstakes begins on July 8, 2021, and ends on Sept. 8, 2021. Visit birdsandblooms.com/contests for official rules. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes sponsored by RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC. Contact Us! CUSTOMER CARE For subscriptions, renewals, gifts, payments, account info and inquiries: Email: customercare@birdsandblooms.com Visit: birdsandblooms.com/customercare Write: BIRDS & BLOOMS CUSTOMER CARE PO BOX 5294 HARLAN IA…