While walking outside this afternoon, I noticed the tree branches along my fence row were uncharacteristically low. A quick walk over revealed that our persimmon trees are producing fruit, and a lot of it!
On Saturday, October 9, bird enthusiasts around the globe will be celebrating World Migratory Bird Day, an opportunity to raise awareness around the incredible wonders of bird migration. While some of our grassland birds are year-round residents, such as the Bobwhite quail, most of Virginia’s grassland birds are migratory. With this in mind, we want to highlight several things that you can do around your landscape that will have a positive impact on our region’s grassland birds, both migratory and resident, as well as improve biodiversity.
Homeowners need to get involved with their HOAs to ensure they avoid the use of invasive plants. There are several ways individuals can take action to do so, such as attending meetings, contacting the board members, serving on a committee, and creating volunteer events.
My home office is in a barn, which means I get to interact daily with the resident barn swallows, Hirundo rustica. Their Latin name means “from the country,” an emblematic moniker that I wish I could stick on the end of my name or title somehow… Swooping, diving, and catching their food in mid-air, they are a wonderful distraction for me to engage in.
Native grasslands have suffered the most intense impact by humans of any of North America’s terrestrial ecosystems, resulting in grassland-associated birds experiencing a steeper, more consistent decline than any other guild of birds. Decades of increasingly intensive agriculture have reshaped the habitats that these grassland birds rely upon.