• Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      I have a raised bed garden that is a mix of vegetables and flowers and a greenhouse.  We have a lot of bird activity at our backyard feeders and have had success with our solitary bee hotel.  I want to replace our grass front yard with a perrenial garden of native plants to attract more birds and butterflies.
      • Lyell
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        I am in the process of replacing our front yard grass.  I have replaced at least 80 percent of the front yard so far.  To keep the soil life and structure intact, I used a technique called sheet mulching.  In the fall I laid down cardboard (from large boxes) on the grass and spread about 4-5 inches of much on top of it.  It has worked very well.  An occasional blade of grass will pop up through a crack but is easy to remove.  I am still trying to formulate  a plan for planting, but the native plants I already had in several islands are helping out by advancing into the mulched area:  Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania Sedge), Whorled Loosestrife (NOT the invasive plant), Anemone canadensis and blue-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
    • My family and I enjoy our backyard immensely.  Our newly replaced deck was designed with our fruit trees and bird feeders in mind, and we now have year round views of the many birds that visit us and live in our yard.  My husband loves the lawn, but has been tolerant of my aversion to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and to my encroachment with vegetable and native plant gardens.  Our yard abuts a wild area that separates our yard from a golf course, full of wild life, and not far from a small river.  Last year’s overwhelming gypsy moth caterpillar invasion was a challenge, but we are learning about the life cycle of these “new” neighbours and trying to learn how to protect our trees and our pollinators, as well as the birds that live with us.  Interestingly, my husband is frightened for our trees’ foliage;  and our 3.5 year old grand daughter was So Excited to share her swing set with nature that she ran to get me, and show me how the caterpillars were everywhere, even on the slide!  There is no accounting for a love of nature... I am really enjoying the Cornell Lab’s bird courses, and getting to know the birds in my yard better.  I look forward to learning more about attracting and supporting birds, butterflies, and other pollinators around us.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We have numerous birdhouses and hummingbird feeders, but I want to add additional natural sources for food and shelter.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      With our close friends who live in Switzerland, we built a small energy-efficient “second” home on the border of evergreen forest and meadow in the mountains above Ashland OR. It was mostly finished when we moved in late March 2020, to reduce our Covid-19 risk (we share our house in Oakland CA with an essential worker). We have lived here full time for over a year enjoying the birds, including dark-eyed junco, pine siskin, vesper sparrow, flicker, Stellar’s jay, Western bluebird, red tailed hawk, spotted towhee, green-tailed towhee, pileated woodpecker, red-breasted sapsucker, and mountain chickadee. To our great delight, last year we observed a pair sandhill crane raise two young and a pair of great gray owls raise three young. We have also regularly heard the Wilson’s snipe give it winnowing flight call as it flies above the meadow after dusk and in the early dawn. We want to add native plants that are good habitat for the birds, as we landscape the extensive slope below our flagstone patio. We are at 4600 ft. elevation, in planting zone 7, and need to plant species that are fire resistant because the danger of wildfire is substantial. The meadow has a diverse mix of grasses and wildflowers, which we hope will repopulate the disturbed soil of the slope below the house. That process has started, but we also want to add bushes and ground cover that will provide good habitat for birds. The meadow includes some serviceberry bushes and a few ponderosa pines, which the birds use and which provide us with great viewing opportunities. I created a small vegetable garden last year and will be expanding it this year. Last fall I planted seven blueberry bushes and this spring I planted three more. They are doing well so far, in spite of the snow and frost we had as recently as last week. The silverberry bushes and coffee berry bushes I planted last fall suffered quite a bit,  but survived the winter. Only two of the three Oregon grape plants survived. Our friends, who co-own the house with us, are finally able to join us here and will be arriving next week. So it is time for us to jointly make decisions on plants and get them planted. I look forward to learning from the course and from this group!
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I currently have a blank slate to work with.   I want to use native plants to attract the most wildlife possible.  I plan on adding a vegetable garden, greenhouse, shed, sitting areas, trees, planting beds, rain garden.
    • Connie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I just bought a small cottage in Mount Shasta, Ca.  The yard has been neglected for years.  Both sides of the yard have mature lilacs and there are some plantings and lawn, but I'm basically going to be starting from scratch.  I want to make my small yard into a place to relax and meditate and attract different bird species...So far, I've seen alot of jays and ravens but not alot of other species.
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My wife and I regularly see northern mockingbirds, ruby-throated hummingbirds, goldfinches, cardinals, bluebirds, and some not so common birds to our area (yellow bellied sapsucker, pileated woodpeckers). The flowers/tree we have in our yard are rose, Zagreb, black-eyed Susan, hydrangea,  and a mature Elm tree.
    • Yvette
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoy my large backyard space with a large oak tree, backing up to a horse farm.  I have made a butterfly garden. I’d like to learn what to plant to attract more Michigan  birds. I currently have feeders that attract gold finches, house finches, tufted titmouse, nuthatch, cardinal, red breasted grosbeak, red bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, as well as sparrows and grackles, a pair of mourning doves, baltimore Orioles and hummingbirds (I can’t identify which ones.). I’m hoping to learn how to attract indigo bunting and bluebirds.
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      we plan to reduce the mowing area of our outdoor space, incorporate more natives, and expand our backyard woods.  And we're trying to reduce eliminate if not eliminate some of the invasive species like multiflora rose, honeysuckle, and oriental bittersweet.
    • Monica
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Almost 6 years ago, we moved to the outskirts of a metropolitan area.   What attracted us was not the house, but the property.   The house sits on a small mound above a flood plain dotted with groves of locust trees.      Woods were further back.    As we looked at the house, deer were foraging along the tree line.   We enjoy watching nature pass in the peaceful, tranquil surroundings.   We added a gravel patio w/ fire pit to compliment the overlooking deck, and have talked of adding a third sitting area beneath the apple trees.  (the views for each area are different.). The landscaping was overgrown.   But what to do with the yard?   I casually thought of adding some native plants, so I stopped by a local nursery specializing in natives grown from seeds collected locally.   I was hooked by the proprietor's passion.   I now have four beds with native plants and try to select species listed on the state's rare species list.   Watching the birds forage and butterflies flit among the plants is fascinating. Once, when I was outside, a bright orange bird flew by.   An oriole.   Jelly feeders have attracted more orioles with each passing year.   But that can't be healthy.   I have recently planted serviceberries for them and other birds.   Other additions included wild black cherry, hackberry, mulberry, hazelnuts, elderberries, and paw paws.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      In my outdoor space I walk around at different times during the day and enjoy the various planting beds. I weed and mulch the beds. I grow various vegetables, flowers. and herbs in raised beds. During warm weather months, I sit and enjoy the area and listen to the birds. In colder months, I watch activity in feeders. I especially enjoy the different colors throughout the year. I hope to expand the planting beds and add more bird-friendly plantings.
    • Martin
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Good day to all.  My back yard is a space where: 1.  I grow some fruits and vegetables for consumption in raised beds that I made in 2017; 2.  I grow bird/insect friendly (mostly) native plants; 3.  I have my Project Feeder Watch (PFW) site located; 4.  I have an approximate 50 gallon above ground three-season "pond" where I keep three goldfish and some aquatic plants.  I planned and placed my "pond" in the spring of 2019; and 5.  My wife, the family dog Blue and I enjoy the small, occasional summer's night fire. I live in Kingston, Ontario which is located on the north-east corner of Lake Ontario/mouth of the St. Lawrence River/Seaway. I do greatly enjoy my yard and continually make small landscaping changes/alterations in order to continue in making my yard more attractive to the natural world, be it birds, insects, (small) mammals and even people!