Feeding the birds has never been so fun. Decorate your trees with homemade garland and wildlife friendly ornaments.
Decorate outdoor trees with a fruit garland of cranberries, orange & apples slices. Supplies needed include cotton string and a large sewing needle. Alternate different fruits to make your own design. Remove string from the tree when fruit is gone, to prevent girdling the branches.
Pine Cone Bird Feeder
Supplies needed: pine cones, cotton string, peanut butter, bird seed and a spoon. Tie 8-inch string around pinecone and make a loop. Cover pinecone with peanut butter. Roll peanut butter pine cone in birdseed. Make several and hang on tree branches. Remove string when birdseed is gone.
You can purchase suit cakes or make your own.
Recipe for homemade suet (source Penn State Extension)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup vegetable shortening
4 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
Suet can be frozen in blocks and placed in suet feeders. Or use cookie cutters for making different shapes. Place large cookie cutters on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Fill cookie cutters with suet mixture. Put in freezer. When hard, pop out of cookie cutter, place in suit cage bird feeder and hang in tree.
Cup plant is a native perennial that is 3-6 feet tall with numerous large, yellow composite flowers. The leaves are joined at stem to form a small cup that holds water that attracts insects and birds. We have several cup plants in the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. It started flowering in early July and is still blooming. This would be a great addition to any pollinator habitat.
Happy Pollinator Week! Leafcutter bees are active in the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. Leafcutter bees are important pollinators and are members of the family Megachilidae. I added new blocks and paper straws for leafcutter bees in the solitary bee house. You know you have leafcutter bees in your landscape when you see the discs of leaves that are snipped from nearby plants. The damage is very minimal and will not harm the plants. Leafcutter bees are not aggressive, so you can safely be close and watch them work.
Happy Pollinator Week!! It is a great time to visit the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. So many wonderful plants are blooming in June. Rudbeckia, hoary vervain, common milk weed, butterfly milkweed, purple poppy mallow, common yarrow, beebalm and fleabane. All these plants are great for our pollinators.
Please join us starting next week for the GRO Big Red, 3-part, virtual learning series on Pollinators. Nebraska Extension horticulturists and entomologists will be presenting this educational series. Visit this link to sign up for the free programs: https://unl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-Dc-CqA2T1C3ccOiHZ_JZw
May 4 6:30-7:30pm: Creating a Pollinator Habitat Panelist: Kathleen Cue
May 11 6:30-7:30pm: Bees, Butterflies and Beyond Panelists: Jody Green and Kait Chapman
May 18 6:30-7:30pm: Pollinator Blooms for All Seasons Panelists: Mary Jane Frogge and Kelly Feehan
Earth Day was yesterday and Arbor Day is celebrated next week. It was great to be out in the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat to see what is blooming. Spring blooming trees are important to the early pollinators. We have three early blooming trees in the habitat. Eastern redbud-Cerciscanadensis, wild plum-Prunus americana and peachleaf willow-Salix amygdaloides are all blooming now. All these trees are native to the United States and benefit early pollinators. Hope you can add a spring blooming tree to your landscape this year.
February was very cold with lots of snow. We are definitely ready for warmer temperatures. Most of the February snow has melted. Under the snow was snowdrops, just waiting to see the sun. This early spring bulb is great for honey bees. They visit these flowers on warm days. Consider planting spring flowering bulbs like snowdrops, glory-of-the-snow, crocus and squill this fall.