Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Biodiversity in Roadside Habitats

The ditch on the side of our rural road provides habitat for
thousands of insects and caterpillars that our birds need for feeding their babies.
by Grandma Pearl
Have you ever thought about ditches as anything more than a place by the side of the road?  There are hundreds of thousands of miles of ditches in the U.S.  And they provide essential habitat for many different kinds of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and birds.  
Black-capped Chickadee found a juicy spider to feed her growing nestlings.
by Grandma Pearl

So many songbirds and game birds rely on the ditch environment.  It’s a rich source of protein in the form of insects and invertebrates; but it is also a water filtration system.  Rainfall that accumulates in a ditch percolates into the soil and is absorbed and filtered by the reeds and native grasses.   
Male Northern Cardinal foraging in the roadside ditch area.
by Grandma Pearl

People as a society don’t seem to appreciate the ‘messiness’ of natural habitats.  Ditches definitely fall in to the ‘messy’ category with the tall reeds, sedges and slimy denizens lurking therein.  Snails, mollusks, dragonflies, damsel flies, skimmers, and yes, mosquitoes do inhabit these freshwater areas.                                        
We always called these insects Dragonflies.
by Grandma Pearl
There's lots more to ditches that just  places alongside the road.  Please read my latest article entitled "Keep it Between the Ditches" ,for much more information on the biodiversity of this habitat.

Grandma Pearl

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