Is our belief that the suburbs are a poor habitat for birds valid? University of Washington professor and ornithologist John Marzluff challenges this belief with a new book, Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife. Not only are there a surprisingly wide diversity of birds in the suburbs, there is an opportunity to create wildlife habitat oases over a major land area. In this video, Marzluff discusses how we can improve our yards in several different ways including reducing lawn, adding water, creating snags and finally, being connected to nature.
In this edition of Friday Film, British green roof expert Dusty Gedge takes us on a tour of this 12 year old green roof designed to replicate the brownfield sites of London. The roof is awash in colors of many wildflowers and is full of a variety of insects. Dusty narrates this visit and highlights the various plants while offering insight into green roof design and plant selection.
From the video description:
Dusty Gedge pays one of his regular visits to the original ‘rubble’, brown, green roof on the Laban Dance Centre in Deptford London. The roof is a profusion of colour and wildflowers and sedums. The film features bees, grasshoppers, ladybirds and a range of brownfield wildflowers. And in typical style is a slightly irreverent commentary on green roofs.
When we think about plants, we don’t often associate a term like “behavior” with them, but experimental plant ecologist JC Cahill wants to change that. The University of Alberta professor maintains that plants do behave and lead anything but solitary and sedentary lives. What Plants Talk About teaches us all that plants are smarter and much more interactive than we thought!
For more information about plant senses, read my review of What a Plant Knows on the Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens blog.
View the rest of the episode on PBS Video.
This week’s Friday Film is An Original DUCKumentary, from Nature on PBS. Ducks are some of the most common and visible of urban wildlife. this episode will reveal much about these birds. From the PBS website:
Masters of the water and air, they have conquered the globe. From deft dabblers to great divers, these are one of the Animal Kingdom’s ultimate athletes. Take a fascinating look at one of our most familiar birds.
View the rest of this episode on PBS Video.
This new video from the ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architecture) is “an animation that explains how to transform your property into a real wildlife habitat. Learn how native plants and designed structures provide what nature needs.” It’s great to see the Landscape Architecture profession starting to raise awareness on urban habitat design. They have also been involved in the Sustainable Sites Initiative, “an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.” Hopefully this trend will continue and more practicing Landscape Architects will start to include habitat design as a standard practice for all of their designs.
This short video mixes photographs and short video clips which demonstrate the beauty of a suburban wildlife garden. It also offers a stark comparison to a house with the more commonly seen lawn front yard. This garden is certified at National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat and also includes a Pollinator Habitat sign from the Xerces Society. Among the variety of wildlife to be found in this garden are many species of butterflies, featured in each stage of their life, as well as moths, bees and other insects.