News Filed Under Urban and Backyard Wildlife
The tufted titmouse is a bird you’ve likely seen in parks, woodlands, and in your back yard. They’re native to the eastern parts of the United States and are attracted to areas where there is an abundance of broadleaf trees, such as oaks, hickories, and maples.
“Rockin’ robin, tweet-tweedle-lee-dee!” You sang that sentence as you read it, didn’t you?
Shortly after Emily Duggar bought property in Madison County to build a house near Canton, she realized there were beavers on a creek that ran through the back of the property.
“We saw evidence that beavers were taking down trees and gnawing on trees,” Duggar said. “We could see they were building a dam, and they’ve since built two more dams. The water is rising,” she said. “We haven’t had any flooding yet, but we’ve heard that some people who live in the neighborhoods behind our property have flooding from the creek.”
If you hear a bird call that sounds like a fast, high pitched “chick-a-dee-dee-dee,” you can confidently say it’s coming from a Carolina chickadee– they get their name from this distinctive call.
Every Mississippian is familiar with the northern mockingbird. In 1944, it became the official bird of Mississippi.
“Coo-OO-oo-woo!” With their rather sorrowful call, the mourning dove sings one of the most recognizable songs.
Have you ever noticed the small birds hopping around parking lots scrounging for food and wondered what kind they were? There’s a good chance they were house sparrows.
Everyone loves Ruby-throated hummingbirds! I have fond memories of watching these hummingbirds visit the many feeders my grandparents put out each year. You probably have a similar story! Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures, with their bold-colored feathers and fast-fluttering wings.
Blue jays are easy to recognize by both their noisy call and bold blue feathers. Also known as jaybirds, blue jays are members of the crow family and native to the United States.
Moles and voles are often confused with one another. They both can cause damage to your lawn and their names sound very similar. You can use the beginning letter of their name to help you remember the difference!
We’re on month two of learning about the different types of birds in Mississippi. For February, we’re discussing the house finch.
Northern cardinals are a commonly spotted bird during winter months. If you’re like me, you’ve seen cardinals featured on various holiday décor items. It’s almost like they’re the official bird of winter.
Bats have long been associated with Halloween, and this has fostered many myths about them. They may look spooky to some, but they perform critical tasks in the environment that help humans. The 1,400 species that are spread across six different continents serve an important purpose in our ecosystem. They pollinate plants, distribute seeds, and control insect pests, including mosquitoes. Fifteen different species of these small mammals live in Mississippi.
Hummingbirds are fascinating little creatures and are adored by many people. If you’re a hummingbird lover, you’re probably giddy to have them flock to your yard again this season.
You may have recently heard about joro spiders on the news. The gigantic yellow spiders are creepy enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies! The good news about these spiders is that they have not shown up in Mississippi yet.
In the South, there’s a legend that says rain is on the way any time you see a turtle cross the road. There’s very little truth to this myth, even though it does seem like rain is in the forecast after we see one of these creatures slowly making its way across the street.
Spring is when we see a lot of baby wildlife. You’ll likely start seeing young animals tagging along behind one or both their parents, and boy, is it cute.
Butterflies aren’t just beautiful. They are important pollinators for wildflowers and woody plants. But before they transform into the colorful, winged adults you see fluttering around your landscape, they are caterpillars hatched from eggs. Mississippi is home to more than 50 species of butterflies. Have you seen any of these three common butterfly caterpillars in your yard?
Purple martins are a real treat to have grace your landscape. They offer hours of bird watching entertainment with their musical chatter, beautiful colors, and aerial acrobatics. Each year, purple martins migrate to North America from South America to nest. They arrive at varying times, but most tend to show up in March in Mississippi. To help welcome purple martins to your home, make sure you have the right kind of habitats for them.
If there’s one thing we southerners love, it’s our backyard birds. There’s something enjoyable about watching birds fly around and chirp with each other in the yard. However, as brutal as the winter months can be to us, it can be even more challenging to our feathered friends. Many trees and shrubs become bare during the cold weather, eliminating their primary sources of shelter and food. To help provide food, water, and shelter to your backyard buddies, consider creating a welcoming habitat that will prepare them for cold weather.