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Last Build Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:05:02 +0000

 



10 Years – Our Conservation Promise

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:05:02 +0000

Somehow it happened. 10 years ago the Birdfreak Blog started. In those years our lives changed a lot. We grew and our kids grew. But through all the change, we feel we’ve stayed the same. We didn’t always stick to a plan. Our posting schedule was sporadic, the look of the site was spasmadic, and […]

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Vitamin N by Richard Louv

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 21:08:17 +0000

Vitamin N is the short title for Richard Louv’s latest book about getting people, especially kids, back out into nature. The extended title is a long one: Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich the Health & Happiness of Your Family & Community* (*and Combat Nature-Deficit Disorder). On the cover is also the statement “The Essential […]

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Bioblitz at Callaway Farm

Sun, 29 May 2016 16:02:23 +0000

Callaway Farm is my (Eddie’s) rural backyard in northern Illinois. In 2012, the 2.5 acres were a corn field and since 2013, I’ve been working on turning it into our backyard bird sanctuary. To get a baseline of what wildlife is using it in its current state, I decided to do a May bioblitz. I […]

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The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

Mon, 23 May 2016 13:00:56 +0000

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman chronicles some of the best-known cases that showcase bird intelligence. But the book goes beyond the famous birds like the African Grey Parrot named Alex and delves deep into the scientific studies being conducted to understand how birds think. Inevitably, especially with a title having the word “genius” […]

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Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants

Wed, 18 May 2016 13:00:35 +0000

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy is the quintessential guide to how and why we all have the power to conserve habitat, right at home in our backyards. Tallamy begins with a call to action, that all gardeners need to direct their energy towards planting those […]

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The Biggest Week in American Birding – 2016

Mon, 16 May 2016 13:00:20 +0000

Northwest Ohio is “The Warbler Capital of the World“. People come from all over the world to see all the beautiful spring migrants that stopover on their way north . The Biggest Week in American Birding a week-long bird festival that started in 2010, is now in full swing and each year it just gets […]

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Birdscaping With Wild Columbine

Fri, 13 May 2016 13:00:32 +0000

If you live in the eastern half of the United States, native Wild Columbine might be a good choice for birdscaping. The Callaway Garden planted just a couple plants three years ago. We looked for a native plant nursery to find this variety and found Naturally Native Nursery in Bowling Green, Ohio. These plants spread […]

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Nature Principle by Richard Louv

Wed, 11 May 2016 13:00:29 +0000

The Nature Principle is Richard Louv’s “companion” to Last Child in the Woods and covers some parallel topics as well as delves into more reasons to connect or reconnect with nature. The Nature Principle could be considered a book to promote ending nature-deficit-disorder in adults. Louv introduces and expands on many catch phrases or buzzwords […]

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Why Use Native Plants for Birdscaping

Mon, 09 May 2016 13:00:35 +0000

While plotting and planning our backyard birdscaping project, a discussion arose on whether native plants are really that important, especially when a comparable “ornamental” can be used and still enjoyed by wildlife. I have been hearing the phrase “use native plants” for at least as long as I’ve been interested in birdscaping (before I was […]

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17-year Cicadas are for the Birds!

Fri, 06 May 2016 13:00:39 +0000

In 2007, the Birdfreaks went Cuckoo for Cicadas. A 17-year periodical cicada called Brood XIII emerged to the delight of bird species in northern Illinois and a few nearby states (MAP). It was amazing to see so many cicadas at once, the noise was deafening and the birds went crazy for them! We even found […]

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Planting an Orchard

Wed, 04 May 2016 13:00:15 +0000

In the hopes to produce some of our own food, we decided this year we would be planting an orchard at Callaway Farm. After a ton of research, we found a place in Michigan that ships bare root trees and purchased seven fruit trees including 5 apple, one peach, and one pear. We meant to […]

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Feral Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

Mon, 02 May 2016 13:00:24 +0000

Feral Rewilding the Land the Sea and Human Life by George Monbiot centers around the idea that conservation is not enough and that a rewilding effort needs to be in place to reach goals far beyond what most conservation and restoration efforts currently are focused on. Rewilding is simple in the abstract: bring back the […]

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Children & Nature Network

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:00:42 +0000

In 2006, the Children & Nature Network was created by Richard Louv, Cheryl Charles, Martha Farrell Erickson, Martin LeBlanc, Michael Pertschuk and Amy Pertschuk. Their vision: “A world in which all children play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives.” The Children & Nature Network is a great resource for information about connecting […]

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Crossley ID Guide Britain & Ireland

Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:00:05 +0000

The Crossley Id Guide Britain & Ireland follows the unique and beloved format of other Crossley ID guides with this one of course covering birds found in Great Britain and Ireland. Most of the text is written by nature writer Dominic Couzens but is a bit overshadowed by the dizzying array of birds to be […]

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Saving the Kirtland’s Warbler – Science Talks

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:00:31 +0000

“Saving the Kirtland’s Warbler” is one of a series of Science Talks that takes place at the Cranebook Institute of Science. These lectures are done by experts from the Nature Conservancy with this one happening on Thursday, May 5, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. While we won’t be able to make the talk, […]

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Midwest Crane Count – 2016

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 13:00:50 +0000

The annual midwest crane count took place on April 16th and we were once again in our “usual” spot, a privately-owned area known as Moody Marsh. This year it was just me, Eddie, and my dad. We can’t quite remember, but we have been doing these counts for over 10 years now. Background of Midwest […]

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Gardening is for the Birds

Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:00:40 +0000

Gardening is for the birds and can be fun and satisfying on many levels. It’s a way to get outdoors, involve the family in a project and is for all skill levels. But how does it help the birds? FOOD MILES Some of our food travels really far before it reaches us. I have had […]

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Silent Spring Revisited by Conor Mark Jameson

Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:00:43 +0000

Silent Spring Revisited is an excellent book that chronicles what has happened in terms of bird conservation since Rachel Carson’s landmark book. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published and was immediately wrought with criticism and denouncement, largely because she was a woman and not part of the “inner circle” of scientists. Her book […]

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Birdscaping – Landscaping for Birds

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 13:00:24 +0000

Birdscaping is a portmanteau of birds and landscaping. It is the intentional effort to provide a natural setting to attract wildlife, especially birds, to an area, most typically your own backyard. And there are many different ways you can provide a bird-friendly landscape. Part 1 – Planting for Birds 1.1 Trees Trees provide nesting, shelter/cover, […]

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Art of Bird Finding by Pete Dunne

Thu, 14 Apr 2016 13:00:35 +0000

The Art of Bird Finding is a compact, instructional guide to assist in the search of birds. Through 82 pages, Pete Dunne covers a great deal of ground with tips and tricks to help you find birds. But don’t expect much of any guidance on how to actually identify the birds you find. The scope […]

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10 Simple and Easy Ways to Complete a Bioblitz

Mon, 11 Apr 2016 13:00:36 +0000

What is a Bioblitz? The goal of a bioblitz is simple: take an inventory of all life forms you can find in a particular area over a particular time period. This time period is usually 24 hours but can be stretched to two days depending on scheduling. Creating a bioblitz is simple and easy and […]

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Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Birds From National Geographic

Sat, 09 Apr 2016 13:00:36 +0000

The Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Birds is a compact, attention-grabbing book from National Geographic Kids. The guide includes photos and info on 175 birds common, or mostly common, to North America. Trying to bring my mindset to that of a child isn’t that difficult since I spend nearly all my free time around my two […]

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Grass Lawns – Less is More

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 13:00:41 +0000

Grass lawns are the most common landscape in many places. They are durable, easy to grow and just what is considered normal. Since we are a family full of dogs and sports players, we don’t discount the use of grass entirely, but there are a lot of reasons why we could start changing the amount […]

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Composting is for the Birds

Mon, 04 Apr 2016 13:00:44 +0000

Composting is for the birds! Okay, that might not be your first thought when you think of composting. But two main benefits of composting, soil health and reducing waste, are important keys to helping the birds and all wildlife. Reduce Waste Waste that can be composted such as vegetable scraps, newspaper, egg shells, coffee grounds […]

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Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat

Wed, 30 Mar 2016 13:00:09 +0000

The Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat by William Young is a collection of essays on 99 different types of birds. These easy-to-read stories are short but well researched. They include a mix of folklore, science, and even some conservation information. This book is definitely a lighter read but that doesn’t take […]

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