[CT Birds] warbler plants

jayne.amico at cox.net jayne.amico at cox.net
Fri Oct 8 19:38:52 EDT 2010

I agree Greg!  I was  just saying how I always see warblers during migration  in a stand of birches in my area. I was so inspired by this that I recently planted two river birches at the sanctuary.

According to the book Bringing Nature Home,  native birches and  willows(not weeping) are among the top plant families hosting insect activity. After having read that book I was extremely dismayed to discover that so much of the landscaping I have installed over the years is not insect friendly.  While they were not invasive and did provide nectar, berries, cover and nesting sites they did not however host any reproductive insect activity.

For example  I removed a  hedge of forsythia  that does not host any insects. I replaced it with just two crabapples that individually can host approximately 300 insect species. The book was an amazing eye opener reminding me that  the very birds I am working so hard to conserve have to have insects not only to survive but to raise their young!  The very reason so many cultivars and non native plants are in existence and so very popular for landscaping today is because of their high resistance to insects!  In essence we have been replacing the native plants that insects require to reproduce and replacing them with plants they cannot reproduce on. No wonder so many of our insect eating birds are in trouble. By this practice alone we are reducing the insect population, then add pesticides, acid rain, and the list goes on!

The last few weeks I have focused on removing all the non- native plants, such as weigela, bush honeysuckle, butterfly bush and forsythia in a side garden and replacing with native plants. Today I visited Andy at Broken arrow and came home with button bush, new jersey tea, joe pye weed, and a native plum tree. 


Jayne Amico
Southington, CT

---- Greg Hanisek <ghanisek at rep-am.com> wrote: 
> The Nashville was in a stand of scrubby willows. I've noted over the years that late in the fall warbler migration, when Yellow-rumpeds and Palms predominate, willows, especially scrubby native species, and ornamental birches are often good places to find other warbler species. 

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