Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
Winter Wetlands February 07, 2009

When isn't a wetlands wet? You guessed it: in the winter. The last week or so we have been cross-county skiing and snow-shoeing in some of the dankest places! This is the only way to stay dry and see the center of a buttonbush bog or the middle of a cattail edged marsh. Here is a shot from a local wetland that would be miserable terrain to navigate in any other season. It is OK to think "Winter Rocks!"

And today, February 7, marks the first day of the Rusty Blackbird Hotspot Blitz. Our local coordinator Tom Bain says, "Go find'em!"

TOM's TIP OF THE DAY: Rusty Blackbirds eat mast! Look carefully for RUBL's eating crushed acorns on roadways and paths, and softened acorns in shallow pools.

Based on excellent research by Dr. Claudia Mettke-Hofmann in Mississippi, and work by others, Rusty Blackbirds often seek acorns and other mast crops. In the South they love crushed pecans--on roads and paths!

In our area they might be found where mast falls on roadways, or where small acorns, such as pin oak acorns, fall into shallow pools. RUBL's need a little help getting inside the hard husk so they look for crushed or water-saturated acorns.

Claudia says,"They like to forage in water, but they don't like to get their belly wet." Look for shallow pools under mast.

Go here for Blitz details:
Scroll down at the url to find great images, data forms, etc.

2009-02-07 13:02:35 GMT
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