This video discussion took place at the recent ICLEI Urban Nature Forum in Belo Horizonte, Brazil this month and discusses the value of urban biodiversity and how to bring that diversity back to the cities. It's presented by the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Oliver Hillel discusses how nature used to be in the cities and how we simply have to stop impeding it and let it back in. However, many of our systems are so changed that they now need to be managed to restore nature by bringing in new infrastructure. He also discusses how cities are laboratories for innovation and the importance of education by...
News Course Changes Rough on Residents:: An interesting article about the attempt of a golf course to provide habitat and the challenges faced from the neighbors. Photo From the Field:: A blog post documenting the installation of a nestbox for Peregrine Falcons on a water tower from Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. Why We Must Learn to Love Weeds:: This is a really interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about the concept of a weed and what that does or doesn't mean. Toads' epic journey for life, renewal threatened by Highway 6 traffic at Summit Lake:: Here is an article that features...
Swifts are one of the few birds that can draw crowds like rock stars. Their roosting is one of the greatest migration wonders of the natural world and they often choose to share it with us in the urban world. Several species of swifts are well known to roost in chimneys, often where many people have a chance to watch them. On the west coast of North and Central America Vaux's Swifts roost in chimneys along their migration route. East of the Rockies, a similar species, the Chimney Swift does the same thing. They roost communally, often by the thousands and...
The Pollinator Pathway is planned along a one-mile stretch in Seattle from Seattle University to Nora’s Woods replacing grass strips with pollinator gardens. The brainchild and creation of Sarah Bergmann, the Pollinator Pathway currently consists of two installed gardens with another 16 planned and has 20 total homeowners signed up to participate. I visited one of the gardens where Sarah was kind enough to meet me and tell me all about this fascinating project. The first garden was installed in July of 2008 after much planning and work and has been a great start with a lot learned. The...
The Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) is a small, highly camouflaged bird that is most active at dusk. They are not hawks, but are instead in the nightjar family. They breed throughout North and Central America and spend the rest of their time in South America. The Nighthawk is often also called a bull-bat while the Spanish name for it is añapero yanqui and it's called bacuaru-americano in Portuguese. In recent years they have started vanishing from the cities and there has been a general decline in nighthawk populations throughout North America. The foremost explanation for this is a change...
The first question many people will ask when you tell them you want to create habitat is why, which often comes before the how. It's important to formulate an educated response to the why whether it's a homeowner or city planner asking. There are many answers to that question and I plan to address many of them in a series of posts starting with this one. Among the answers are ecological benefits, education, human benefit and many that fall in all categories. Lets start by looking at ecosystem services which can be defined as environmental services provided by an ecosystem...