Hello February. Last week I wrote about shrubs and trees to plant for nesting.  You may also want to think about plants for nesting materials.

Ornamental and bunching grasses provide the most important raw materials for nest building.  Small birds weave thin, flexible grass stalks into the outer shell, including blue fescue, and thrift grass.  Switch grass, ryegrass, and blue oat grass work well for larger birds. Many of which you can incorporate in your CRP, quail buffers or landscaping.  Animal hair, much as horse hair is used much also. Ornamental grasses work great for lining the nests. Milkweed is another natural wonder for butterflies and birds.  Don’t forget to add some to your landscape. Easy to start and grow.

I am very fond of pine trees, and have had several over the years, along with a few cedar trees in my yard.  Two of my pine trees that were at least twenty years old died these past two years.  We had to take the cedars out for other reasons. I have a pine ridge east of our house that has been here for years.

Mint was planted by Duane’s grandmother and her sons in the early years.  They are tall stately trees that sway with the wind and talk to you during gentle breezes.  Two newer trees came up on the highway right of way, but because they were offspring of these ancient trees, they allowed us to leave them stand.

I use the pine for floral arrangements and the birds love them. Robin’s, doves, blackbirds, chickadees and more make their home there.

Pine Ridge holds many memories for our family of Ebelings.  Thus the name of my bluebird trail. This coming spring, I think I will try a few more pines. They are tricky to get going, but if you pick the correct ones I think you will have years of beauty, and bird havens.

The butterfly bush is another I want to try again.  I think I am going to add a couple in the corner of the front yard near the house and see what happens. We have so terribly much wind here, it is hard to manage some shrubs. I guess I should be focusing on a windbreak.

I have so many extra Caster Bean seeds mix, think I am going to plant a whole row in the back yard. I always have some in the landscaping in the back for the hummingbirds to rest in.  They have abundant seed pods and I save them in the warm and dry and share with my gardening friends.

I just filled the feeders and suet cage in the trails yesterday and checked out my wintering birds in the trails.  Soon it will be March and the bluebird scouts will be arriving to prepare for spring and their summer families.

I hope you are enjoying this gloomy weather with a cup of tea and a good book, and of course bird watching.  Until next time, good bird watching.