We are blessed with an abundance of mature trees on the Greater West Side of Chicago. And that means birds are flying above us all the time. What makes them want to stop and linger in a particular garden? Jim Gill and Elaine Petkovsek are making that discovery. For the past year, they have been working on creating a “bird garden” in their backyard. They are putting the finishing touches on a project that’s taken some muscle, a little research… and becoming a bit of a bird-brain.
Trees and shrubs provide butterflies, moths, birds, and bees many different resources. Planting trees and shrubs is also a great way to help out the environment, since they produce oxygen, sequester carbon, clean the air and water, and provide numerous other benefits. You can even forest bathe right in your own yard!
Over the past week, I have been watching a pair of Downy Woodpeckers take care of their young. They are incredibly dedicated. They are up early in the morning flying back and forth to bring food to their babies, who never stop peeping, and they are still at it in the evening. They also have to worry about a squirrel that seems interested in their nest, and they expend a lot of energy protecting their babies from this marauder.