Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Newburg goes to the birds

 Congratulations to Newburg for being the most recent recipient of the "Bird City" award!

Out of 22 possible criteria set by Bird City, Newburg filled at least seven, demonstrating their committment to bird-friendly habitat and policy. Newburg was given two Bird City signs and logo flag. The logo for Bird City was designed and donated by Ozaukee's own (and Bird Club members) Tom and Mary Uttech, and has become a much loved and respected symbol in the ornithology community. (FYI, the Bird Club meets at Riveredge on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 6pm in case you love birds and/or want Uttech's autographs).  

Other Ozaukee Bird Cities include Ozaukee County and Mequon.

Other than hours of entertainment for the little acrobats, birds are important warning systems for our environment, the "canary of the mine" (no pun intended) for our ecosystem.
Even if your municipality isn't a "bird city" doesn't mean your yard can't be. Protecting our feathered friends is easy (and cheap). See Bird City for a complete list of inspirations.

1. Decorate your windows. Nothing is worse that that tell-tale "thud" that leaves remnant feathers on your window. Some window clings reflect UV and many come in seasonal shapes. Get a leaf for the summer months and a snowflake will cover the remainder of the year.

2. Plant, plant, plant! Fall is planting season. Trees and bushes are great habitat areas for birds and many provide food! Plant landscape worthy perrenials then leave them for the birds. Among the favorites: hazelnut bush, berry bushes and coneflower.

3. Multi-tasking invasives. You're going to pull the garlic mustard or dig out the buckthorn anyway (for the sake of your sanity if not aesthetics). Every bag pulled is one for the birds!

The sky is the limit for creative things to do. I would plant a coneflower prairie if I could, but I've contained myself to a large mass planting in a bed.

What is the most unique bird friendly project you've done?

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