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Prevent wildlife injuries. Go batty for bats and more... 
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Nature Scoop Oct 2016

I love leaf litter
It's autumn. Trees change to beautiful colors. Many birds molt (replace old, worn-out feathers with new to regulate body temperature.) Their feathers are made of protein, so plant native trees that provide protein-rich berries and other fruits. Bird feeders are important because of the loss of habitat. When leaves start to fall, rake your street gutters to keep from blocking the rainwater flow to the storm drain, which causes puddles where mosquitoes can breed. Leaves form an impenetrable mat in the drain, clogging the catch basin to cause street floods. When lots of leaves flow into our natural waterways all at once, they reduce oxygen needed by wildlife in the water as they decompose. This causes "dead spots" in lakes and streams.

You can prevent wildlife injuries with tips from Ohio DNR. Check for nests before cutting trees or clearing brush. Late autumn and winter are the best times to perform these tasks in order avoid the nesting seasons. Cap chimneys, vents and window wells to keep wildlife from becoming trapped. Keep pets under control to prevent them from injuring wildlife. Avoid giving wildlife human food or trying to treat them like pets. They are wild and will not behave like pets. Educate friends, families and neighbors to respect wildlife.

This just in: new information about collecting ripe, Common Milkweed Pods to be used for Monarch habitat restoration next year. If you live in Ohio, drop them off at collection stations around the state from 9/1-10/30. If you live in other states, follow instructions for Monarch Watch.

Good news: Bat Week is October 24-31. Bats have an undeserved bad reputation, especially around Halloween. In the U.S., bats don't drink blood. Most bat species consume their body weight eating insects each night, especially mosquitoes. That would be like you eating 50 large pizzas a day. Bats are declining due to white-nose syndrome, so putting up a bat house could help save them and decrease the need for mosquito spraying. Twelve bat houses have been put up in Columbus, Ohio, and when occupied, will save the city $15,000 in mosquito spraying.

Toni, Habitat Ambassador Volunteer, Please explore my website www.backyardhabitat.info
 

Tips for Your Yard

Winterize Your Yard for Wildlife
-  Organic Lawn Care: Keep leaves in your garden bed and under trees as natural fertilizer and to protect small creatures in winter (which are also food for birds), mow excess leaves into your lawn
-  Naturally fertilize trees with dead leaves and green cuttings (like grass) which also keep their roots warm in winter
-  In fall, the invasive plants remain green after the native plants have died, so it's easy to see them. Remove invasive plants and to keep them away, put an alternative native plant in their place. Download the app Landscape Alternatives for the Midwest
-  Count the leaves before you pull out poison ivy (3 leaves) because beneficial, native Virginia Creeper turns red at the same time, but has 4 or 5 leaves
-  Height of fall migration goes until mid-November, so you can help migratory birds by turning your outside lights off 11:30 pm to 5 am
 

Nature News

-  Follow the Monarch Butterfly peak fall migration
-  Seasonal catalogs will start coming in. Stop unwanted catalogs at Catalog Choice, and if you're getting other junk mail, try the Direct Marketing Association
USDA launches new conservation effort to aid monarch butterflies
Seeking to reverse bee decline, Illinois Governor orders limits on pesticide use
 

Ohio Events with Backyard Habitat Information

Please send your backyard conservation educational event with a link the month prior to the registration deadline (e.g. May 1 for June issue)
-  10/1, Hooray it's another Sawmill Saturday, Columbus. News: a developer won a court case to own Sawmill Wetlands. ODNR is set to appeal
-  10/8, Pollinators in Your Garden, Sarah Dalton, Bring Milkweed Seed Pods (see above), Wild Ones Columbus
 

Other Ohio 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)
-  Reg now for 10/7, An evening with David Sibley, Columbus
-  Reg by 10/7 for 10/14, Improving Your Woodland, Fee incl Lunch, Ohio Woodland Stewards, Mansfield
-  Reg by 10/8 for 10/12, Protect, Transform, and Inspire, Bring Milkweed Seed Pods (see above), Fee for lunch, Worthington Hills Garden Club, Columbus
-  10/25, Beyond Cedar Bog: Birding the Ohio History Connection's other great nature preserves, Columbus Audubon, Columbus
-  10/28, Howl-O-Ween, Fee, Ohio Wildlife Center, Powell
-  10/30, Give Back Day, scroll down at Cincinnati Wild Ones, Oregonia
 

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