September’s Wild Ones program definitely ‘for the birds’

Jack Armstrong shows how to create bird-friendly landscapes

If you like looking at and listening to birds while you’re out walking or hiking, you should love native plants. At 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16, Jack Armstrong, a member of the Rock River Valley Chapter of Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and former president of the Sinnissippi Audubon Society, will deliver a slide presentation on native plants and the birds that use them for food and shelter. The event will be held at the Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford.

Throughout the world, habitat loss is the leading cause of species endangerment and extinction. In the Midwest, a large portion of the land has been cleared for agricultural, commercial and residential uses, leaving marginal and fragmented habitats. Yards play an increasingly important role in wildlife conservation.

Northern Illinois native plants can attract birds and other wildlife to your yard or garden. Indigenous and migrating birds utilize native plants for food, cover, nesting areas and other resources at different times during the year. Creating a natural habitat for birds is not all that different from normal landscaping. It just takes a little more thought.

The Sept. 16 program will offer tips on how to change your property to create a natural habitat, along with identifying the birds that will benefit from the transformation.

This program is free and open to the public. Contact Mary Anne Mathwich at (815) 624-6301 for details.

Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Wild Ones is a not-for-profit environmental education and advocacy organization.

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