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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk
Thread started 02 Apr 2017 (Sunday) 20:09
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Share your habitat improvements and projects for Wildlife

 
Larry ­ Johnson
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Jun 15, 2017 18:53 as a reply to post 18378729 |  #16

Steve, I have a new respect for bluebirds. I never really paid much attention to them in the past. Saw them in the pines in my yard, so I decided to build the nest boxes with the scrap cedar. I never realized that they hunt somewhat like a hawk or owl. As I mentioned above, they scope things out from their perch and pounce on a bug or worm, then right back up to their perch. They do seem to eat a great deal of bugs and I thank them for that. They're also nice to photograph. Have to admit though, I don't care much for their song.

I need to produce some hummingbird habitat. I'll look into that trumpet vine you mentioned.


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Grizz1
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Jun 15, 2017 22:35 |  #17

Larry your right about their hunting habits and the parents seem to take equal turns at taking food in to the young ones. I've noticed that one parent may catch a bug before the other but will wait on it's perch for the mate to return as if they have a 50/50 deal in feeding. Last evening I was watching the pair in my yard and the female was flying further away and returning with Mulberries, the male was strictly after insects, not sure who decided on this plan:-),
The trumpet vine may not be desirable if you live in town, it is very aggressive, and will take over fences and buildings. Wish I were more of an expert on names but I also have a red tubular flowering bush that is better in yards, I will try to find the name of it. I have started Columbine flowers this year too and hope to have many of them next year, Hummingbirds like them well.


Steve
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Box ­ Brownie
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Surrey
Jun 29, 2017 16:42 |  #18

Great to read and see what you guys across the pond are doing to encourage and protect wildlife for future generations :)


That was a great meal ~ you must have a good set of pans :p
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gymell
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Post has been last edited 5 months ago by gymell. 2 edits done in total.
Jul 13, 2017 10:40 |  #19

I've spent the last 8 years creating a native plant wildlife garden in my yard. For the last few years I've offered informal tours and also been a part of Wild Ones (external link) garden tours. It's a great way to show people how they can attract wildlife even in a suburban yard. Mainly this has involved getting rid of invasives, eliminating a lot of useless lawn, avoiding chemicals, and planting a large garden filled with native flowers and shrubs. Additionally, providing food, cover and water. I started this all to attract birds, but it's wound up bringing in all kinds of cool things and I've learned a lot. I've given a few talks on creating suburban wildlife habitat. Here are some examples (all in my yard):


Also here are a lot of photos of my garden, starting from nothing in 2005/2006 and the progress over the years. http://www.pbase.com/g​ymell/native_restorati​on (external link)

-Liz
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Grizz1
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Jul 13, 2017 23:30 |  #20

gymell, excellent documenting all your hard work and the info provided in the last link showing the wild flowers can be very helpful to those of us wanting to try something new.
I do not know my wild flowers that well and for most of my life have been torn between productive farming and being able to allow wild plants to grow. These smaller gardens are actually the best way for most of us to cultivate wild plants successfully and somewhat affordable.
I've noticed that the wildflowers/plants and grasses do invite insects, birds and animals that do not use the cultivated crops that are raised in my area. I'm trying to combine the two as I still need my farm to provide income, it is a slow process but I'm getting there. I'm also adding wildflowers, plants to my yard to attract wildlife, very enjoyable and results can be seen in less time than my large forested areas.
This summer one of my grandsons has been working on a large farm that grows wild flowers and native grass for seed production, he has become very interested in all the plants and their usefulness so I'm hoping he will try growing some here at my place.


Steve
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gymell
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Jul 14, 2017 15:43 as a reply to Grizz1's post |  #21

Thanks, it's definitely been a learning experience. I really have no background as a gardener so I literally started from zero with this. The hardest part has been getting rid of and keeping invasives at bay. Unfortunately if you let things just "grow wild" what it's going to wind up being is a bunch of invasive stuff that really isn't helping the environment and wildlife that much. It really takes a concerted effort to establish native plants vs just letting invasives propagate. But it's worth it. I've seen so many cool things in my yard and learned a ton. A really good organization that can help with resources and ideas is Wild Ones, which I see has chapters in Missouri. http://www.wildones.or​g ...apters/missouri-chapters/ (external link) .


-Liz
My gear list, galleryexternal link and Live Feeder Camexternal link
Help native birds - discourage house sparrows!external link
Minnesota Master Naturalistexternal link - "Explore, Teach, Conserve"

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Grizz1
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Jul 14, 2017 23:52 |  #22

Thanks for the info gymell, I will check into it more when time allows, will be interesting to visit some of the places they are in charge of, about 110 miles from my place but we do go there a few times a year.
I have let too much land go wild and eventually it doesn't work out well. Sadly we have two invasive woody plants in my area that are terrible and were once thought to be the answer for wildlife. Our state conservation dept promoted them highly, multi flora rose in the 1950's and the autumn olive in the 1970's. Both have some good for wildlife but the bad far out weighs the advantages and it is a constant fight to keep it at bay.
I am a farmer but do not participate or believe in the CRP program, I feel it is a poorly ran program and idea that simply does not meet the needs of most wildlife after the second year. It is costly to all US citizens while allowing invasive plants like the multi flora rose, fescue,
A. Olive, and Red Cedar to keep a solid foot hold.It does prove however that we have to manage our habitat in this modern age we live in. In my area the most economic and good way to control these undesirables is with prescribed fires which is becoming more popular and I see more landowners using it each year.


Steve
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gymell
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Jul 19, 2017 08:59 as a reply to Grizz1's post |  #23

Here in MN the CRP is mainly about grasslands and wetlands mostly for hunting. Not really for pollinators. I actually looked into buying some acreage that was already in CRP to restore as pollinator habitat, as something on a larger scale than my suburban yard. I talked quite a bit with the soil and conservation office for that district. They do prescribed burns and seem to be actively managing those areas, but it probably varies wildly from state to state. I checked into the seed mixes they were using and there is some pretty good detail on that here at least. And I looked into having an area burned and then what I'd be allowed to plant, and put there (like a bluebird box trail, etc.) Anyway, one thing to note is that red cedar is native, the problem is that without fire as a natural environmental process, they tend to take over prairies. A human caused problem for sure.


-Liz
My gear list, galleryexternal link and Live Feeder Camexternal link
Help native birds - discourage house sparrows!external link
Minnesota Master Naturalistexternal link - "Explore, Teach, Conserve"

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Grizz1
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Northeast Missouri
Jul 19, 2017 22:55 |  #24

I imagine CRP does vary greatly from state to state, I'm not familiar with it outside my area. Where I live it is all about removing highly erodible land (HEL) from corn and soybean production and usually soon becomes covered with grass, weeds and woody plants. There is a limit on what, how much and when certain practices like burning, mowing etc can be done. Most people do little to nothing and collect their money. On these properties by the third year it is too dense to be a benefit to many birds and animals. A lot of the land in CRP is not really HEL at all and would make excellent grazing or prairie land. Many years ago these problems were taken care of by nature, fire being one of those that is now heavily controlled.
And yes the Cedar is native but if not managed smothers out all grasses/flowers and more desirable trees. I have some Cedar thickets and like them to a certain degree but they are hard to keep in check.
The rotary mowers we use these days will not mow them off like the old sickle mowers used to and Cedars soon become a problem in pastures and grasslands. I should take photos and start documenting my success and failures so they could be linked like you have done.


Steve
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Brutejman
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Aug 29, 2017 15:01 |  #25

The past few years I've been planting 2-3 thousand trees and shrubs for the wildlife on our property.

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Brutejman
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Aug 29, 2017 15:02 |  #26

Fun to watch how fast they grow from year to year.




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Brutejman
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Aug 29, 2017 15:03 |  #27

3 year old American plums. Some bearing fruit already :)

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Brutejman
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Aug 29, 2017 15:06 |  #28

New apple orchard started this spring with a dozen trees.

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Brutejman
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Aug 29, 2017 15:08 |  #29

Lots of work keeping the critters from eating them.

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Brutejman
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Aug 29, 2017 15:09 |  #30

Found out wire screening just gives them traction to climb. Meadow voles I'm thinking.

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