Saturday, June 12, 2010

These Trees Are For The Birds!

You will recognize this tree from many of my previous bird pictures. Here is some information about these wonderful native trees. 

The two Serviceberry trees in my garden were only about 16 feet tall when I first moved my camper here. They are now at least 25 feet tall. Of the many eastern species only two reach this height, the Allegheny and the Downy Serviceberry. Most are shrubs and they hybridize freely so it can be difficult to know get an exact I.D.   They are in the  rose family so can suffer from insect damage in some areas.  Are native to the entire East, Midwest, plus in parts of Southern Canada.

One interesting fact I learned from my friends who have cattle and horses is that the leaves from a "fallen" branch become toxic so will make their livestock very ill (even cause death) but if eaten from the tree no harm is done.  They never allow this tree to grow in or around their pastures.   

They have pretty loose clusters of white blossoms in early spring followed by little berries which ripen in June.  These berries provide food for wildlife at a time when few other fruits are ripe.  Many songbirds love these berries.  This year most of the berries were knocked off by our spring storms but a few hung on and are now ripe.   

It has been tough for me to get a clear shot of a bird eating the berries.  I finally caught this juvenile Eastern Towhee this week with a berry in it's beak.

This Tufted Titmouse finally stood still enough for me to get a picture.  I have been enjoying watching the parents feed their youngsters.

A female Northern Cardinal feeding her babe a hunk of the lard/mix cake in this picture.

It has been a most tiring week for me. My wireless connection has been acting up....again.  The temps have been in the 90's with very high humidity everyday and it is only June!  After keeping my very active granddaughter last weekend and working long hours, I am really looking forward to having a couple of days to enjoy being alone here in my little Paradise.  

"Keep your sense of proportion by regularly, preferably daily, visiting the natural world."
Catlin Matthews

Peace to All!  



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