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Being Good Neighbors - For the Birds!

Last Thursday, Crane Trust science staff and volunteers partnered with the Earl May Garden Center in Hastings to educate their staff and the public about birds and ways we can contribute to their conservation. Nicole Arcilla made a presentation introducing participants to birds that nest, migrate, and winter here and demonstrated ways to create and enhance wildlife habitat in our backyards, such as providing food through native plants and other bird-friendly flowers, bushes, and trees. Connie McCartney, a valued volunteer of the Nature and Visitor Center, brought a variety of different birdhouses and described how to install and maintain them to help bluebirds and other local cavity-nesting birds. Connie shared how he has maintained a network of bluebird houses for decades, helping thousands of bluebird families nest and raise young successfully. We also suggested ways for people to keep learning about birds and other local wildlife through Crane Trust programs as well as through national wildlife habitat and online citizen science programs. Finally, we showed participants photos of some important breeding songbirds at the Crane Trust, including Dickcissels and Bobolinks, which need native prairie to nest and raise young, and invited participants to come and see them in person next summer through our bird banding program.