Wednesday, March 28, 2007

101 Ways to Help Birds

Last night at the Zumbro Valley Audubon Society meeting, our featured speaker was Laura Erickson. Laura is well-known in the birding world and she came to our meeting to speak about her book, "101 Ways to Help Birds." This is a very good (though sometimes frightening) book that highlights many things all of us can do to help birds in our backyards and beyond. It was a pretty good turnout, but not outstanding. I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of people just aren't ready or willing to make changes in their lives that benefit birds, wildlife, or nature, even when many of those changes ultimately benefit us as humans also.

Wild Birds Unlimited had Laura as a special guest for a book signing on Monday afternoon. Here's how she inscribed my book.

After reading this book, I found that there were quite a things I was already doing, but here are some additional changes I'm planning to institute this year, following the "ways" from Laura's book.

#4 - Compost as much kitchen waste as possible

#11 - Recycle thermometers, button batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and other mercury-containing objects

#14 - Conserve electricity

#19 - Identify and keep track of my backyard birds

#21 - Grow an assortment of trees, shrubs, and other plants to provide food and cover for a variety of birds

#32 - Use weed killers and fungicides only as a last resort

#33 - Eliminate or minimize the use of lawn and garden insecticides

I'm also planning to mow 1 acre less than I have in previous years. I think this may help attract more of the open grassland birds, plus it will cut almost an hour off my mowing time and now that gas is up to $2.59 a gallon, we will be conserving gas and money also.

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