Friday, June 19, 2009

Thriving Backyard Wildlife

A while back I bought a few pocket guides to for the kids and myself. I wanted to show them how to look up the names of the birds that come to our feeders and our yard. I put out black oil sunflower seeds, suit blocks, and treated thistle seeds to attack various birds.

Using the guides, I decided to make a list of ALL the critters I've seen in my little yard and the streets it is on. I decided the street in front of my house is close enough to my lot since I don't think the rabbit or red tail hawk understand property lines. Then I thought I should extend to the neighborhood which would be about a mile in each direction. So the list below has "Y" for critters in my yard and "N" for the neighborhood.


· Eastern Cottontail (rabbit) (Y)
· Virginia Opossum (N – roadkill)
· Deer Mouse (Y – Err, actually they got into the house)
· Eastern Chipmunk
· Eastern Gray Squirrel (Y)
· Black Squirrels (N)
· Red Squirrels (N)
· Wood Chuck (N – roadkill)
· Striped Skunk (N – roadkill)
· Common Raccoon
Red Fox (Y )
· White-tailed Deer (Y – hoof prints & eaten plants; N)

· Canada Goose (N)
· Mallard duck (N)
· Little Blue Heron (N)
· Great Blue Heron (N)
· Laughing Gull (N)
· Herring Gull (N)
· Common Tern (N)
· Rock Dove/Pigeon (N)
· Morning Dove (Y)
· Red-bellied Wood pecker (Y)
· Pileated Woodpecker (Y)
· Red-headed Woodpecker (Y)
· Hairy Woodpecker (Y)
· Downy Woodpecker (Y)
· Northern Flicker (Y)
· Red-tailed Hawk (Y)
· Black-capped Chickadee (Y)
· Carolina Chickadee (Y)
· Tufted Titmouse (Y)
· Blue Jay (Y)
· White-breasted Nuthatch (Y)
· Red-winged Blackbird (N)
· Common Grackle (Y)
· Brown-headed Cowbird (Y)
· Cedar Waxwing (Y)
· American Robin (Y)
· Northern Mocking Bird (Y)
· Song Sparrow (Y)
· Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Y)
· Dark-eyed Junco (Y)
· House Finch (Y)
· American Goldfinch (Y)
· Northern Cardinal (Y)


· Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Y)
· Pipevine Swallowtail (Y)
· Cabbage White (Y)
· Monarch (Y)
· Pearl Crescent (Y)
· Red Admiral (Y)
· Spring Azure (Y)


· Lo Moth (Y)

The booklets I used were both written by Kavanagh/Leung and published by Waterford Press.

· A Pocket Naturalist™ Guide: Eastern Backyard Birds - An introduction to Familiar Urban Species
· A Pocket Naturalist™ Guide: Virginia Wildlife - An introduction to Familiar Species

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