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.
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Sunday, March 8, 2015
Where have all the ground-nesting birds gone?
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.