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Sunday, June 28, 2015

The bird that almost became extinct because of a rumor.


Years ago, there was a fake “bee scare”. Farmers mistakenly thought that the Eastern Kingbird raided the bee hives they kept for pollinating crops, so they nearly killed the birds off.  WRONG!  (And maybe farmers today should maintain their own bee hives. They might be more concerned about the insecticides they use.)
 
Formerly called the “bee martin”, The Kingbird is a summer bird commonly seen from the Rockies east to the Atlantic coast, including north Texas. Both Eastern and Western varieties are seen here.

 

Where is the Cardinal a “native”?     Here! It’s lived in north Texas, year ‘round, for a long, long time. However the Cardinal (“Northern Cardinal” to purists) has been introduced into several other places. It was introduced into southern California several times, starting in 1880. In 1929-31 it was introduced into the Hawaiian Islands. Also, it was brought into Bermuda “long ago”  (nobody kept records then). It also expanded its range into a few other areas. Now it is a resident, either native or introduced, in pretty much every state in the c0untry.
 

 

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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