Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Love of Birds and Places to Find Them

I have always had a passion for nature and birds have always been the easiest wildlife to attract to my backyard. Even in the most urban of backyards you can attract all kinds of species of birds, I've counted 40 species passing through my backyard.

There are also so many local places to go see birds. This is a list and some pictures of places I love to go see birds and enjoy nature.

The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center near Lake Lavon in Lucas, Texas. The first Saturday of the month they display their birds and give you lots of information about each raptor. They also have tours of the property where they give you lots of info about the Blackland Prairie and why it is so important in our local ecosystems. I will be there this Saturday with new pictures.

The Heard Museum in Mckinney is a wonderful place to go surround yourself with nature. There are great stands of old growth trees and every time I've stopped by I've seen an owl. Depending on the season, there are many different species that pass through the park and there's a nature museum and even animatronic dinosaurs. 

The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary trails

The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary trails in the meadow

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Sherman, Texas is a great place for waterfowl passing through and many different species of hawks. I have seen flocks of waxwings in the spring and this winter I've been able to get to see the snow and Ross Geese. It's a wonderful park as there are never that many people there and there are many places to hike and explore.

Ross and Snow Geese at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
Waxwings in Hagerman

Trinity River Audubon Center

Trinity River Audubon Center  a 130 acres of wildlife habitat that was originally an illegal dump site and now reclaimed as a haven for birds and other wildlife. I've visited several times and even once volunteered with fellow employees to help improve the park, that's how I learned about the center.
They even have a night owl walk and I'm planning on signing up for one soon.

There are a few others I am planning on checking out in the near future including Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve in Cedar Hill. 

If you can't get out to see the birds, bring them to your backyard. Make sure they have water, seed and Suet available for them. Also it's important to have lots of plants and shrubs in different levels and the birds will use all the different areas to roost, feed and nest.

I have had the following nest in my backyard: wrens, chickadees, bluejays, cardinals, squirrels-they think they're birds-mockingbirds and several different sparrows. I also had bluebirds nest in a previous residence. 

I grow plants specifically for wildlife and have also attracted 35 species of butterflies that also lay eggs, feed as caterpillar and grace the garden with colorful wings all summer. It really is a rewarding endeavor to make your yard a haven for wildlife and it's also a passion that pays in peace and calm. Nature is my favorite addiction.

Red Admiral at Hagerman

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