Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
You may have seen Red-tailed Hawks doing this, and
wondered if they flew into each other by mistake.No mistake!Courting Red-tailed
Hawks form pair bonds by clinching their talons together, high in the sky. Once
they’re locked together, they start dancing and falling. This aerial show includes
swirls, dips, recoveries, and several near-crashes,while still locked together.But they know exactly what they’re doing.
Finally the two Red-tails swoop from harm’s way unscathed, but with a new
Art project for kids and birdsEvery year,
tons of birds collide with windows (they have no understanding of “glass”).
Many die. If you have children they may want to paint designs on the outside of
your windows using removable water-colors such as Tempera paint. It's particularly important during fall migration - NOW. It washes off
easily with water, and serves as a warning to birds that something’s in front
of them. This could be effective at schools with windows, too.
Know of any?
OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.
They’re almost always an irresponsible waste of your
money! They'll repel and kill birds too. Almost all these whole-lot systems use the bug-killer pyrethrum. It negatively
affects all natural life that dares to visit, or pass through, your yard. Yes –
it will rid your yard of mosquitoes, and may also harm birds and larger
organisms such as pets and children.
Pyrethrum is very
toxic. It’s toxic to birds, dragonflies, butterflies, frogs, fireflies, lizards,
cats, dogs and you. Use it and nothing will get pollinated and birds will
go hungry, since all bugs (and maybe your neighbors’ bugs) are dead. Keep in
mind that over 97% of all birds raise their young on insects. Yes, pyrethrum is
natural - so are arsenic, hemlock, lead and rattlesnake venom. Experts who have
closely examined the research don’t accept pyrethrum as a safe organic product.
It'll discourage all birds that depend on insects for food. If they can't find insects nearby they'll simply starve to death. The list of these birds is too long to include here, but includes our official state bird (Mockingbird) and Texas' champion bug-eater, the Nighthawk (which isn't a hawk, and doesn't fly at night).
YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus
who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is a member of
the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation
of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society.
His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.