|Blue Ridge Young Birders Club||
Native Plants help ensure a viable habitat for birds and other wildlife, while invasive species threaten vegetation that serves as a food source that sustains many life forms. This is a short video discussing the importance of Native Plants and the need for using them in our landscapes.
BRYBC members enjoyed a field trip to Maple Flats as they joined Sweet Briar College's Naturalist in Residence, Mike Hayslett who guided the group through this special biological area containing sink hole ponds. This seasonal wetland area provided a wonderful habitat to explore not only birds, but the unique aquatic and amphibian life as well. Mike introduced the young birders to Fairy Shrimp as he scooped them out of the pond, and told us stories about Fairy Shrimp eggs being able to last up to 800 years before hatching into adults. This documentary film was filmed in part at Maple Flats. The young birders loved the day and are thankful to the Augusta Bird Club for arranging this special day.
Although warblers can be found at any time of day, they will be most active just after sunrise or just before sundown or after a rainstorm when insects are active. Wind however keeps insects from flying, and without that food source the warblers will be much less active.
To spot warblers watch for brief flashes of color or quick, active movements in the leaves of trees and shrubs. Be patient for the quick glimpse to reveal a more complete look at the bird. Since warblers tend to use the same perch or same area of a tree for several minutes at a time, that quick movement that you spotted can help pinpoint a spot that will lead to a good view as the bird hunts insects all around int perch.
Birding by ear is another great way to locate warblers. Many warblers will perch in the open to sing as part of their territorial displays or courtship behaviour, so taking time to learn the warblers unique sounds can help you learn to locate and identify the birds in the area.
Offering mealworms and suet as supplemental food sources can increase your chances of attracting warblers to your backyard. However, be sure to avoid spraying insecticides or pesticides that would remove the birds’ preferred food sources. Even if warblers aren’t interested in the feeders, an active birdbath can attract different species, particularly with moving water such as a dripper or bubbler. Offering nesting material can encourage these birds to nest nearby, ensuring that they take advantage of supplemental food and water all summer long.
We hope this blog of nature articles and videos serves as inspiration for your own exploration of wild birds and the diverse habitats in which they live.