Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A lumber yard for wildlife


A red-bellied woodpecker calls from way up in a tree. It has claimed a hollow, decayed branch for a nest. I spot its brilliant red head protruding from a hole. Judging from all the other birdsong I have been hearing, the nesting season has surely begun. From a spring-clean up of my garden there is quite a pile of dried material that could be put to good use. A lumber yard for wildlife: stems of hollow-stemmed Joe Pye for solitary bees; little bluestem grass leaves for weaving and its fluffy seed for lining a nest; stiffer stems of goldenrod, echinacea and sedum for firmer structure. The adjacent woodpile is a source of twigs, which the male house wren will use to stuff all three of the little wooden bird boxes. I wonder which one the female will pick to raise a brood in this year.