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Great Horned Owl by Roger Garber

Winter Weather’s Fine for Nesting Great Horned Owls

2/10/2014 // By Laura Tangley

Here in North America, where much of the continent is battling ice, snow and bone-chilling cold, this may seem like a very bad time of year for a bird to nest. But to the great horned owl, February is the ideal …

Monarchs by Dave Hawkins.

Where Are Migratory Monarchs This Fall?

10/14/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Each fall at about this time, I try to spend a weekend at the Black Walnut Point Inn on Maryland’s Tilghman Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Located on the southern tip of the island, the inn is a perfect place …

Purple Martin by Richard Winegar

The Case of the Missing Martins

9/12/2013 // By Laura Tangley

  A few weeks ago, I headed down Interstate 95 from my home in Washington, D.C., to attend a quirky festival, “Gone to the Birds,” held each August in Richmond, Virginia. The festival celebrates purple martins, and it is timed …

Augochlorella aurata

Photo Gallery: Surprising Backyard Bees

8/7/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Until a few months ago, if someone said the word “bee,” I’d immediately picture the familiar black-and-yellow-striped honeybee or perhaps a big, fuzzy bumblebee—both regular summer visitors to the flowers in my yard. But a trip last spring to the …

Baltimore Oriole by Lynn Cleveland

Photo Gallery: Seven “City Birds”

5/30/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Hear the words “city birds” and you’re likely to picture a handful of common nonnative species such as the European starling, house sparrow and pigeon. But a long-term survey of breeding birds in Baltimore, Maryland, has revealed that a surprising …

Bumblebee on Coneflower by Josh Mayes

In the Buzz About Bees, Don’t Forget the Natives

5/20/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Honeybees have been in the news a lot this month. On May 2, the federal government published results of a comprehensive study looking at potential causes of the insects’ dramatic decline in a phenomenon known as colony-collapse disorder. The widely …

Northern Cardinals by Paul Brown

Help Bugs—and Birds—By Growing Native Plants

5/9/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Like most environmentally-friendly gardeners, I’ve long known that it’s better to cultivate native than nonnative plants. Adapted to local conditions, natives thrive better—and with less water and other expensive inputs such as fertilizer—than do most exotics. Natives also are less …

Buntings at bird feeder by Bernard Friel

Summer Bird Feeding: the Case For and Against

4/18/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Should you take your bird feeders down for the summer? The answer may depend on where you live. Ever since I started feeding backyard birds several years ago, I’ve religiously taken down my feeders this time of year and not …

Swamp milkweed and monarch butterfly by Victor Quintanilla

Monarch Butterflies in a Changing World

3/19/2013 // By Laura Tangley

On a recent trip to California, I stopped by Natural Bridges State Beach, a lovely seaside protected area in Santa Cruz that’s best known for the monarch butterflies that overwinter there. Unlike monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains, which fly up …

Certified Wildlife Habitat, Washington, DC

Wildlife Gardening: Don’t Forget the Neighbors

2/25/2013 // By Laura Tangley

When I bought a house on a large corner lot a decade ago, I was in a hurry to convert the lawn as quickly as possible to a lush, plant-filled haven for wildlife. Too much of a hurry, it turned …

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