Bird storm team. Wildlife holidays. Seen a Coyote? Winterize your yard for wildlife. Good news...
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Junco finds food in my leaf litter
November brought my winter bird storm team earlier than usual. I laughed as I watched the Evening Primrose I left standing wiggling back and forth outside my window. The culprit was this Dark-eyed Junco dining on dropped seeds and bugs in the leaves. I turned on the weather and was not surprised to see that flurries were predicted for the next day. White-throated sparrows came in right before the first cold snap. Each gives me accurate snow and cold predictions every year.

This holiday, consider decorating an outdoor evergreen tree with edible treats for wildlife. You can also use your cut tree as a source of quick cover if regulations allow. (As I'm writing this, a clever Carolina Wren is eating bugs in the spider webs around my back window. I can see it up close and personal.)

What do you do if you see a Coyote? They are common (even in urban neighborhoods) and are an important part of our ecosystem in Ohio. So if you see one, don't panic. Read ODNR's instructions.

Our summer birds' winter homes are impacted by what we buy. 'Tis the season to Buy with Our Planet in Mind.

Good news: Ohio has verified Bobcat sightings for 2013. Counts have been more than 100 during the past four years, but this is the first time the count has reached 200. This predator is necessary to keep a healthy diversity in balance. Read more at the Division of Wildlife.

- Happy Holidays! Toni, Habitat Ambassador Volunteer, Please explore my website

Tips for Your Yard

-  Click on this link for tips on how to Winterize Your Yard for Wildlife
-  In icy conditions, use ice melters or sand because rock salt is toxic to plants, animals and waterways. Animals may accidentally ingest it or step on its jagged granules. It increases saline and reduces oxygen levels in local water
-  If the ground freezes, a Robin's soft beak cannot break seeds or get to worms, and berries are scarce or frozen. To help, put ice-free water 10 to 15 feet from cover and cut up dried fruit, like raisins or currants. Keep the fruit dry, or it will freeze
-  Deer bother some readers by eating their plants. If so, add deterrents before deer come to discourage them from dining in your yard. Try laying chicken wire flat (not standing up) around the area of plants you want to protect because deer don't like to get their hooves caught in it
-  Water features needn't be shut off in winter per the Dispatch

Nature News

Bird Feeding 101 Webinar, Tom Sheley, watch & listen anytime, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative
The Emergence of Nature Phobias

Other Nature Events

Please send your backyard conservation educational event with a link the month prior to the registration deadline (e.g. May 1 for June issue)
-  12/6, First of Winter @ Sawmill Saturdays, Sawmill Wetlands, 2638-2674 Sawmill Place Blvd, Columbus
-  12/19, 22 and/or 23, Wild in Winter Workshop, ages 4-12, same event offered all three days, Fee, Ohio Wildlife Center's Nature Center, Powell
-  12/30, Christmas with the Critters, free with donation from list, Ohio Wildlife Center's Nature Center, Powell

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