"Attractive" Landscape November 08, 2007
"Attractive" Landscape means several things to me; not only a landscape that looks good to the owners (people), but one that attracts wildlife as well. Tonight I'll show a power point presentation on the topic, and I lifted a slide for today's photo.
The gorgeous bird in the photo is an Evening Grosbeak. This has been on my "to see" list for several years, but this member of the finch family does not breed in Ohio. While occasionally an "irruption" year bird, several years can go by with few reportings of these showy northern species. This may be our lucky year! Evening Grosbeaks tend to feed gregariously, and this week 29 were reported as regular visitors to a feeder east of Cleveland. Oh, it's a lucky birdwatcher who can make that claim! These seed-o-philes, along with Red-breasted Nuthatches and several other species, may be a more common occurrence in Ohio this winter. Because it is all about the botany! Seed crops or mast, as they are known in the forestry trade, production was very poor in Canada this year- possibly due to drought. Now these beautiful birds are heading south looking for a free lunch.
Evening Grosbeaks are particularly fond of Box Elder fruit (samaras). Hence, the feature slide with the Evening Grosbeak and the Box Elder, Acer negundo . Box Elder has a reputation of being a bit of a weedy tree, but I would line my entire yard with them if only to see one Evening Grosbeak. Good Birding! Weedpicker