Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nothing Like a Good Book... Especially when it teaches you one of the keys to helping our feathered friends...

Kay Charter of Saving Birds Thru Habitat passed along this gem of a book, Bringing Nature Home , by Dr. Douglas Tallamy. Dr. Tallamy chairs the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at University of Delaware.

And, he owns 10 acres of farmland that was once loaded with invasives. Which, he discovered, supported very little insect life and also strangled out the native plants.

I thought I knew the importance of planting natives, but I really didn't get it until I read this book. I just didn't get how important native trees and plants are to birds.

There is so much in my dog eared, heavily highlighted copy, it is hard to begin....

Perhaps, the most important thing this book taught me is that I have a decision every time I plant or remove something from the LoveNest garden. And, if I choose a native plant I am managing the LoveNest habitat in a way that supports native insect populations and provides valuable nutrition for nesting birds.

Native insects love native plants and birds love (and need) insects. Most terrestrial birds rear their young on protein (pound for pound, most insects have more protein than beef), energy filled insects, not seeds and berries.

And, a successful breeding season is dependent on the amount of food birds find for their brood.

Which is just one of the many reasons Cute Husband and I will never put anything but native in the Lovenest's ground.

Dr. Tallamy's book is also a beautiful reference book that details the best native to plant to support the most insect species. The book is also brimming with great bug pictures!

Cute Husband and I recently planted a Redbud (Cercis canadensis).

Native, but not as important as an Oak Tree in supporting a diverse population of insect species.
We are ok with that.

It was one of my Dad's favorite trees.

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