Plants are waking up and everybody’s nesting. The dawn chorus is especially loud and full of courtship and the claiming of territory. Frogs are beginning to call at night. Native bees are busy and there’s plenty in bloom to provide nectar and pollen. On warmer days the honey bees in the hive on the Nature Trail are active. No hummingbirds have been seen here yet, although there are reports of sightings close by, and butterflies are still scarce. This will change soon.
Mild weather continued in March. It actually felt like Spring as we passed the first official day of the season. Last month we told you we heard frogs. This month we’ve been hearing them more and seeing them, as well as lots of tadpoles.
March’s photos include nesting birds, native bees and two butterfly species: Sulfur and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Also both of our native honeysuckle vines are blooming coinciding with the arrival of hummingbirds. So be on the lookout.
As you can see below, the Cooper’s Hawks are still here. This one had just caught a Mourning Dove.
They’re here alright. You can hear them calling during the day and at night. Bullfrogs, Leopard and Green frogs. And in among the cicada’s, the wonderful nighttime sound of tree frogs. Our neighborhood has them all. It’s no surprise that they depend on safe clean water year round for survival and breeding. Our neighborhood has that too in creeks and small backyard ponds.
Science Daily is a clipping service that pulls together interesting science news stories from the world’s leading universities and research organizations. There have been two recently about urban frogs that caught our eye.
The first, If you build it they will come: Frogs flourish in humanmade ponds comes from the University of Florida. The article is not so much about backyard ponds as storm water ponds in cities. Good information in a concise form that might help inform our thinking on intown development that affects wildlife.
The second article however does talk about our yards and the issue of safe clean water. Estrogen, shrubbery, and the sex ratio of suburban frogs. To quote the article “A new Yale study shows that estrogen in suburban yards is changing the ratio of male and female green frogs at nearby ponds. Higher levels of estrogen in areas where there are shrubs, vegetable gardens, and manicured lawns are disrupting frogs’ endocrine systems, according to the study.” This information is stunning.
Happily, as gardeners we can do our part to help out the frogs (and other critters, including ourselves) by eliminating chemicals and lawn services that apply chemicals. Those little signs that warn you to keep babies, pets and wildlife away can’t be read by babies, pets or wildlife.