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Birds & Blooms

Birds & Blooms December/January 2019

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.

United States
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
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USD 12
7 Números

en este número

1 min.
from the editor

The painted bunting holds the No. 1 spot on my bird bucket list. I’ve seen hundreds of photos of this rainbow-colored beauty, yet I remain in disbelief that such a stunning bird actually exists. And I recently learned that I’m not alone in yearning to spot one. We asked our field editors and Facebook followers to tell us which birds they want to see most. The answers included northern cardinals, black-billed magpies and Cape May warblers, but the painted bunting prevailed. Leticia Reed even said, “Spotting a male painted bunting would be a dream come true for me!” Flip to page 40 to see our top 10 list and find out where to spot them. Also in this issue, we reveal the finalists in our annual Backyard Photo Contest. Since the…

1 min.
this month

GIVE Share your love of Birds & Blooms with family and friends! Buy one gift subscription online and give a second gift for free! birdsandblooms.com/givetoday Grow Nurture your holiday poinsettias like Elsie Dolvin of Hollywood, Florida. This plant was given to her a few years ago. With her love and care, it has thrived! Make Drill small holes in birch rounds, insert juniper sprigs and write guest’s names on tiny stars. Glue the stars to sprigs for rustic place cards. JOIN Participate in Audubon’s 119th Christmas Bird Count, and contribute to one of the country’s oldest citizen science programs. Find a count near you! audubon.org SHARE Do you have a favorite bird ornament? Send us a picture! birdsandblooms.com/submit…

1 min.
winter oasis

Sunflower Helianthus annuus, annual Easy to grow and useful all year-round, sunflowers are crowd-pleasers. Summer’s bright blooms bring joy to gardeners and pollinators, and naturally dried seeds provide local wildlife with a food source in winter. They thrive in most soil types and climates, as long as they’re in a sunny spot. Attracts: Light needs: Full sun. Size: Standard varieties grow up to 10 feet tall. Grown for: Sunflower heads contain 1,000 to 2,000 seeds and feed birds all year. Foliage: Stalks fade to brown in the winter. Cultivars to try: Super Snack Mix and Mammoth Russians produce an abundance of seeds. BIRD BENEFITS In summer, gather and dry sunflower heads (or simply skip pruning) to create a supply of high-fat seeds that last well into winter.…

2 min.
masked berry bandits

With bright pops of color, bold markings and slim, shiny bodies, cedar waxwings are a sight to behold. Their behavior is exciting to watch, and they snatch berries in their bills before swallowing them whole—sometimes while hovering underneath a branch. Waxwings sport sleek bodies with black masks over their eyes and a prominent tan crest atop their heads. The coloring of males and females is nearly identical. These distinctive birds are slightly smaller than a robin, with a large head and a short wide bill. Their wings are light gray, bellies are a soft yellow and tails have a bright yellow tip. “People love cedar waxwings because they are just so elegant,” says ornithologist Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, one of the developers of the All About Birds website. Not…

4 min.
holiday favorites

1 Jerusalem cherry SOLANUM PSEUDOCAPSICUM These shrubby plants, also called Christmas cherry or winter cherry, produce bright white or mauve blooms that give way to red berrylike fruits. Plants reach 24 inches tall and sport smooth evergreen foliage. They prefer a bright spot that’s 70 degrees or cooler. The berries and leaves are poisonous, so keep plants out of reach of children and pets. Why we love it: Long-lasting berries add festive color to your decor. 2 Kalanchoe KALANCHOE BLOSSFELDIANA Clusters of star-shaped blooms in shades of red, yellow, pink, gold, orange or purple carpet these rounded succulents. Scalloped leaves set off the flowers and supply interest once blooms fade. Kalanchoe reach 12 inches wide and 18 inches tall, depending on variety. They require at least four hours of direct sunlight. Why we love it: Blooms provide…

2 min.
homegrown lemons

Lemons are among the easiest citrus to grow indoors and make thoughtful gifts. You provide the light, water and fertilizer, and they offer beautiful, aromatic flowers and homegrown lemons. According to Steven Biggs, the author of Grow Figs Where You Think You Can’t, scent one of the best reasons to grow an indoor lemon tree. “You can’t beat the smell of lemon blossoms—they’re a joy indoors when it’s gray outdoors.” Choose the Best Variety Many types of lemons do well when grown indoors, but Meyer is the most popular. Not only does it take well to container culture, but the fruits have a sweeter flavor, are less acidic and have thinner skin than many other varieties. Plants Versus Seeds Steven points out that while it’s possible to grow a lemon tree from a seed,…