Botany for birds November 28, 2007
Audubon just released the "WatchList 2007" and if you are a bird- this is one list you don't want to be on. Fourteen of the 178 bird species named as imperiled by the American Bird Conservancy and Audubon are found in Ohio at least part of the year, but they are in need of year-round conservation efforts. One of those birds, the Red-headed Woodpecker is featured on this frame from my power-point on "Attractive" Landscapes.
A quote from Audubon: Once abundant in Ohio’ oak-hickory forests and woodlots, this species has declined 78%, to an estimated population of 35,000 birds. Competition for nest-cavities with non-native invasive species, and habitat loss due to urbanization and changing agricultural practices may have contributed towards the species’ decline.
The Red-headed Woodpecker photo was from my friend Dave Lewis. I am not sure where he found this beautiful bird, but the most I have ever seen at one time were in a Bur Oak Savannah. These majestic Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa trees grow in Crawford County above a wet prairie which is filled with interesting sedges and a few state listed botanical rarities. The oldest of these Bur Oaks have persisted on this site for over 250 years. This site has near mecca status for Ohio's sedge-heads, a cult of the few but fabulous! :)
These birds need acorns, and acorns grow on trees. Trees like these take a long, long time to grow, and are rarely found in suburbia. Conservation of habitat is the first step towards conservation of birds. If you are unable to attend the Ohio Bird Conservation Symposium this weekend, don't hesitate to send a donation towards the on-going conservation efforts in Adams county. We are all in this together. Tell them Weedpicker sent you :)