Basic Reading

Background

The wild bird population in the United States is dropping each year, especially migratory birds that winter over in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over 225 species, many of our most famous and beautiful birds, such as our hummingbirds (the tiniest birds in the world), and songbirds such as warblers, thrushes, tanagers; hawks, owls, and more, nest with us in the United States and Canada in Spring and Summer but then must fly South to Mexico and beyond to survive our Winter season with its loss of food -- insects, fruit, berries, nectar. (These are birds that cannot subsist on birdseed as our wintering birds do.)

Many of our migrating jewels are birds we consider “ours” for historical and emotional reasons. The Baltimore Oriole, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (the only one of 13-15 species in significant numbers East of the Mississippi River; now recovering due to public attention), the Scarlet Tanager, the Cerulean Warbler, the American Redstart, the Bobolink and Wood Thrush, and hundreds of others. They could easily go the way of the American Passenger Pigeon within the new century, without your attention and help.

Where Do They Go? “Birds On The Wing”
WHY ARE THEY IN TROUBLE?
Major Migration Routes in 

North and South America

List of Wintering Countries for Migratory Birds


HUMAN-MADE PROBLEMS ARE THE DISASTER

In addition to severe natural dangers and events, the accelerating loss of our birds can be tracked directly to several human activities recurring throughout history, such as

(SEE: Birds Over Troubled Forests, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Washington, DC 20008, ISBN #1-88-1230-00-7.
Brightness Falls from the Air, James Tiptree, Jr., Orb, New York, 1993, ISBN #0-312-85407-2
Bring Back the Birds: What You Can Do to Save Threatened Species, Russell Greenberg a Jamie Reaser, Stackpole Books, 1995, ISBN #0-8117-2519-7
“Flying Into Trouble: The Global Decline of Birds, and What It Means”, Howard Youth, World-Watch, Vol.7, No.l , Jan-Feb 1994, pages 10-19.
“Latest Endangered Species: Natural Habitats of America”, Wiilliam K. Stevens, The New York Times (Science), Tuesday, Feb 14, l995, pages Al; B10.
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, Houghton Mifflin, l962. ISBN #0-395-45390-9
The Sixth Extinction, Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, Doubleday, l995. ISBN #0-385-46809-1.
Where Have All the Birds Gone? John Terborgh, Princeton University Press, 1989. ISBN #0-691-02428-6
Life in the Balance: Humanity and the Biodiversity Crisis Niles Eldredge, Princeton, 2000. ISBN #0-69105-009-0
http://www.birdpop.org - (The Institute for Bird Populations -- global research and dissemination of information on changes in bird populations.))


YOU CAN HELP!

“First Protect The Other Creatures, Then Square Things With Mankind’s Nature.”

As nesting, food, grass-and wetlands goes, so goes the bird population. Paramount is careful conservation and restoration of the green spaces we have left. 

When a forest, wetland or greenland is lost or fragmented, birds return to find part of their habitat (home) missing. They must relocate or perish. There is less and less each year. Where are the human stewards?? 


 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

EVERYONE CAN START HERE :  

"Insects! Fruit! Berries! Nectar!!! 
Woods! Grass and Wetlands!!! 
Food! Shelter! Water!!!” 
Marsh Wren, Ole Westby (c)



Native Violet and Black Locust Tree
by Arthur Singer
 
 
berries2.jpg (17992 bytes) 
Crabapple

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Blueberry




GARDEN TODAY FOR WILD BIRDS

-- PLANT TREES, SHRUBS, & WILDFLOWERS

     FOR INSECTS, FRUIT, BERRIES, AND NECTAR


BEST MENU & SHELTER FOR NORTH AMERICAN MIGRATORY BIRDS  

Birds that travel South of our borders, in general are not seed eaters - one of the reasons why they must leave in the Winter and try to come back to us in the Spring. The following trees and shrubs can help them on their way here to nest and thrive, or bulk up in the Fall for the long flights to Latin America and the Caribbean. Remember, birds need water, too, shelter and a place to nest.

(Check with your local garden club or bird group, botanical garden or nursery, farm extension or library to choose botanicals best suited to your area and your birds.)

Alder shrub
Apple
Barberry (Japanese) shrub
Bayberry (northern) shrub
Beech
Birches
Blackberry
Black Walnut
Blueberries
Cedar or Juniper (need male
and female cedars to produce
berries.)
Cherry - Sour, Chokeberries, Fire or Pin
Cherries, Wild Black Cherry
Cholla and Prickly Pear Cacti
Chuparosa shrub
Citrus
Coralberry shrub
Cotoneasters (small leaves)
Crabapple (fruiting)
Currant
Dogwoods
Elderberry shrub
Elms
Eucalyptus
Farkleberry, or High Bush Blueberry
Gray Birch
Hawthorn (Washington, India)
Holly - Possomhaw, American Holly, Inkberry,
Winterberry. (May need both male and
female hollies to produce fruit for birds.)
Honeysuckle (American Vine and Trumpet)
Huckleberries
Japanese Yew (berry producing)
Maniznita
Maples
Mountain Ash
Mulberries (May need male and female
To produce fruit.)
Oaks
Ocotillo shrub
Olives
Pines
Persimmon
Prickly Pear
Raspberries
Red Buckeye
Saguara Cacti
Serviceberry
Spicebush
Sourgum or Black Tupelo
Spruce
Sumac shrubs
Vibernum shrubs
Virginia Creeper vine
Wild Grapes and Figs
Wild Rose
Yellow-Trumpet bush
Yucca

whitetree.jpg (22832 bytes)
Serviceberry

There are others, but these are proven winners and are beautiful landscaping elements.

***

FLOWERS & VINES FOR HUMMINGBIRDS &   BUTTERFLIES 


Purple Coneflower

 

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Red Trumpet Vine

 

 

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Canna

Agapanthus
Aloe
Bee balm
Bird of Paradise
Black-eyed Susan
Buttercups
Butterfly Bush
Butterfly Weed
Cardinal Flower
Century Plant
Columbines
Coreopsis
Cosmos
Crimson Monkey Flower
Daylilies
Eaton's Firecracker
Fairy Doctor
Figwort
Firepink
Fireweed
Foxglove
Fuchsia
Gilia
Goldenrod
Hibiscus
Honeysuckle
Indian Paintbrush
Iris
Impatiens
Lantana
Lily of the Nile
Larkspir (Blue, and Scarlet)
Lavender Horsemint
Marigold
Mints
Milkweed
Nicotiana
Penstemons
Petunia
Phlox
Purple Coneflower
Red Hot Poker
Sage (Hummingbird,
Lemmon's, Pineapple)
Salvia
Trumpet Vine
Yarrow
Zinnia
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Yellow Trumpet Vine


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Butterfly Weed

 

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Foxglove

PLANT NOW -- MAKE EXTINCTION THE EXCEPTION.

***

EXCELLENT AND NOT TOO EXPENSIVE BOOKS
TO
HELP YOU START GARDENING FOR BIRDS


American Wildlife & Plants - A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits, Martin; Zim; Nelson, Dover Publications, 1951; 1961, ISBN 0-486- 20793-5 (pkb)($9.95).
How to Attract Birds, Ortho Books, ISBN 0-89721-011-5(pkb.)( $9.95).
Bird Gardening Book - The Complete Guide to Creating A Bird-friendly Habitat in Your Backyard, Donald and Lillian Stokes; Little, Brown and Company, 1998, ISBN 0-316-81836-4 (pkb)($11.05).
Songbirds In Your Garden, John K. Terres; foreword by Roger Tory Peterson, Algonquin Books, 1994, ISBN 1-56512-044-2 (pkb.)($14.95).
Birdscaping Your Garden - A Practical Guide to Backyards and the Plants That Attract Them, George Adams, Rodale Press, 1998, ISBN 0-87596-956-9 (pkb.)($18.95). *
The Bird Lover's Garden by Margaret MacAvoy and Pat Kite, Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1-56799-727-9, 128 pages, hardcover ($25.00).
The Encyclopedia of North American Trees by Sam Benvie, Firefly, 2000, ISBN 1-55209-408-1, 304 pages, color photos / illus., hardcover ($35.00).

See also Good Reading list on the Menu (To the left).

*Wild Birds for the 21st Century, Inc. has no financial ties to any suggested sources.


WHY BIRDS? -- CAN'T WE KEEP THEM IN A CAGE OR ZOO??


Blue Eggs The answer is no, not without
harming ourselves.

What do wild birds do for human beings?

They are living, breathing symbols of liberty and beauty, grace, precision, excellence -- frequently so exquisite as to be dumbfounding;  frequently and, reassuringly, very plain. Historically symbols of sky and freedom for earthbound animals, who must still envy and study their easy, aerial acrobatics. 

Origins of song, poetry and myth. Descendants of the dinosaurs. Most efficient insectivores in the world yet harmless to us and the earth. Major pollinators, essential predators and scavengers. "Our" wild birds are a major link in the food chain that sustains us all as fellow creatures. Symbiotic protectors of trees. A living early warning system to humans of the health of our environment; additions to property values as well as family values. A multi-billion dollar industry, worldwide, for tourism and gardeners.

More?

Our fellow creatures known as "wild birds" are a gift of God and Nature; crucial to the web of life that supports our own. They are happy harbingers of Spring and the seasons; an endless pleasure to the observing eye, ear and intellect. Unexpectedly -- to some -- they are proving to be intelligent and sentient beings, worthy of respect and protection as valuable members of our extended family. Will human population expansion, unguarded markets and technology, be allowed to destroy them in the coming years?

Robins


Will you help make your garden an oasis for wild birds?? Plant trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers for fruit, berries, nectar, and insects.

We welcome your tax-deductible* support:

Wild Birds for the 21st Century, Inc.*
7376 Pershing Blvd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63130
 


Email us at director@wildbirds.org

We thank you for your help.


* Wild Birds for the 21st Century, Inc. is an independant, tax-exempt, nonprofit, operating foundation as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, chartered in Missouri in January, 1997 to support the protection and preservation of wild birds and their natural habitats. Of special concern are North American neotropical migratory landbirds, conservation and gardening for birds. J. E. Sutter, Director and President, St. Louis, Missouri. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

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