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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Where have all the ground-nesting birds gone?


 



Killdeer

Meadowlark

Chuck-wills-widow
This observation was about Quail, but applies to all other ground-nesting birds as well (such as Meadowlarks, Horned Larks, Killdeer, Nightjars [Chuck-wills-widow] and most species of ducks).  A former official of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. stated that their declining numbers are due to habitat fragmentation, uncontrolled fire ants, and feral hogs and cats. In urban and semi-urban areas, the lack of meaningful habitat for ground-nesters is very controllable. It’s done by naturalizing and uniting undeveloped areas such as parks and floodplains, and by controlling fire ants in a safe manner (both relatively simple to do).

 

Before you swat it…       America’s native pollinators cheerfully pollinate a whole lot of crops; for free. Our native bees alone do $3 billion worth of crop pollination that would otherwise have to be done by hired honeybees (which are mainly European in origin). As of yet, nobody has received a bill for all the pollination by home-grown pollinators.

 

 

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 the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and 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.

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