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The bird watcher also studies the bird.s, but his goal is entirely different; usually it is one of personal pleasure. Bird watching includes the person who casually throws out a few bread crumbs once in a while and. also the one who maintains a regular feeding program, providing a water supply summer and winter, and. who makes a record of all the birds that come to his feeder. He knows when the first rose-breasted grosbeak arrived, how many juncos he feeds during the winter, and so forth. He may participate in the Christmas bird count, or he may not even know the difference between a nuthatch and a chickadee. It can be extended to any length-pleasure is gained out of every minute devoted to it. This perhaps is the reason why bird watching is so popular.
AIso, the casual bird watcher, through intense study, may become an ornithologist. The bird count may lead to a

year-round study of the number and kinds of birds observed. This may lead to bird banding which in turn commences an intensive study of individual species. This information may be sent to the local chapter of the Audubon Society and in a short time the bird watcher has become an authority on some phase of bird study. He may become an ornithologist and submit findings and reports to a central bureau. Ornithology and bird watching-both are pleasurable experiences and return so much to those who follow these

and see.

pursuits. So think seriously about these activities. you will discover, as have thousands of others, that you are entering a new pleasurable and profitable pastime. Try it

Bird watching provides many advantages for the hobbyist. The person who becomes interested in it adds much to his store of knowledge and, as a by-product, frequentty is led into other related valuable activities. It is very flexible, for you can devote as much time to it as you please and yet enjoy it the year around. you can work alone or you can enjoy it as a group activity. And, flnally, you will make a contribution to your community when you pass on to others, especially young people, the information and experiences gained from this fascinating pastime. In another part of this book I pointed out the difference between Ornithology and Bird Watching-Ornithology is a serious, scientiflc study of bird behavior, anatomy, and characteristics, and Bird Watching is mainly a fun hobby.



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for lessons. AII you need is the ability to enjoy what nature is offering you. As a matter of fact, bird watching can be as simple as looking out of a window or sitting on a porch. Many people "window-feed.,, birds on a board attached to an outside windowsill on which they place table scraps or bird feed. Thus bird watching can be an excellent hobby for the shut-in as weil as for those who want to pursue it on an indoor-outdoor, winter-summer morning_evening

how to attract birds

There is really nothing difficult about getting birds to come to your yard and feeders. perhaps the most important re_ quirement is patience. rt wilt take some time to get birds to make regular visits to your premises. I have fraA Uiras alight on a new feeder within an hour after it was erected, but this is the exception. Birds are naturally wary of any_ thing new, but after you have gained their confi.dence, their trust and friendliness will prove surprising. Their needs are simple, and they ask for tittle. ati tfrey-rrant is food, water, and shelter. If you try to duplicate these as they are found in irature, you are bound to attract birds to your yard and garden. Remember, birds do not like .,spic_ and-span" surroundings. A brush pile, dead limbs, nearby trees, or possibly some weeds will provide them with the cover and perching facilities that their sense of security


As your interest in this new hobby increases, you will want to know more about certain birds which you would like to

You can obtain the confidence of birds. Provide enough food,

all cats, and you will have birds

as close companions.

avoid noise, move slowly, banish


Milwaukee Public Museum photo


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Bird watching provides a


ing and healthful form of recreation whether one is alone or with good friends.

National Audubon Society photo

can be flled according to bird groups when you return



become valuable reference material.

Some bird watchers make a life-size drawing of the outline of a bird, print several duplicate copies and insert them in their book. When an unfamiliar bird is seen, the markings, size, colors, and other features can be quickly indicated on one of the outline drawings for later study and identification. These printed outlines are a great convenience for both the inexperienced and the experienced bird watcher.

The more advanced bird watcher sometimes flnds additional items of equipment necessary. At a later date you may want a telescope that can be mounted on the door of your car or in a window of your home to command a sweeping view of your yard or the area in which you are driving. Telescopes are made in a range of types and prices that will meet a wide variety of needs.
To complement your growing knowledge of birds, you may decide to start a home tibrary. You can select titles from the excellent variety of classic books that have been on the market and keep abreast of new publications by watching advertisements in newspapers and magazines and ehecking book-review sections. (See pagelgg)


An excellent counterpart to a collection of bird books is a record library of bird songs and calls. Within the past few years a number of fine albums have become available and


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Family groups can enjoy a field

trip iogether since bird watching appeals to old and young


Hendricks-from the National Audubon Societv

Trips can last a few hours, a whole day, or several days. Some hobbyists devote many of their vacations to this healthful activity.
Trips can also be planned for your local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops or some other group of young people with whom you are associated. Since larger groups reduce the effectiveness of a fleld trip, the participants should be advised beforehand to heed signals for quiet.


to look for hirds

Your fi.rst few field trips will undoubtedly be made sometime during the day. As you gain more knowledge and skill in bird watching, you will discover that the best time to observe birds is the early morning-the earlier the better. Some bird watchers arise long before dawn and get settled in their favorite watching spot before the sun is up. If you can do this, you will be handsomely rewarded.


If you want to see owls, you will have to get out just at dusk or a little after. With a strong flashlight, you will be able to spot some interesting flights. You probably will be struck by the quiet flight of these birds, which seem to glide through the trees like gray shadows.

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cies will be found in open areas. Even a few hundred feet will make a difference in the kind of birds you see. Gradually, you will flnd a number of favorite observation posts. To attract the birds after you are on location and the birds are settled down, try making a kissing sound on the back of your hand. The noise will cause the birds to become inquisitive and they will come close. Many stores carry a small bird call made with a rosin stick that produces a squeak. These calls are very helpful in attracting birds. In these hideaways you will enjoy watching and listening to the birds and you will flnd that their chirping and singing is as pleasant as the sight of the birds themselves. mounted birds. A local zoo wLay have an aviary that will also prove helpful, and in your library you are sure to flnd a number of books that show and list the birds that might be seen in your area.

If your city has a museum, you can study some of the


to identify birds


The scope of this book does not allow space for a detailed treatment of bird identification, although some of the techniques used will be mentioned. The serious bird watcher should obtain one of the several excellent books that are available. They include valuable background information, colored pictures that make identifying birds easy, and they are small and light enough to take along on fleld hikes.


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BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLFIIr- (5-5y2") Creeps down as well as up on trees and branches. Boldly striped in black and white. The female is less conspicuous with whiter underparts. Nest on ground.

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (43/+-5/2") Usua,lly plump. The only small bird with a black cap, a black bib and white cheeks. Friendly and active. The call is a chick-a-dee-deedee or dee-dee-dee.

BLUE JAY (11-12") A large bright blue bird, whitish below with bars on wings. Has a crest and black bib. Very noisy and conspicuous most of the year. Usually travel in groups from 4 to 5.

BRO\I/N CREEPER (5-53/+"') A brown bird smaller than a sparrow with a slender curved bill and rather stiff tail used as a prop. Climbs tree like a spiral staircase then flies to

BROWN THRASHER" (l0yz-Ll) A slim bird slightly larger than a robin. Is bright rufous-red above and heavily striped below in long stripes. Has wing bars, a curved bill and a long tail.


Red bill.

CARDINAL (8-9") Easily recognized since it is the onty allred bird with a crest. The male has a black spot at base of bill. The female is yellow-brownish with a touch of red.


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EASTERN KINGBIRD ($t/2-9") A large black and white flycatcher. When it flies the conspicuous wide white band at the tip of its fanlike tail is its best identification mark. Likes fence posts.

PHOEBE (6V2-7') Has no wing bars or eye ring' Gray brown above and whitish below. Constantly wags its tail. The bitl is black. Has an upright posture. Repeated call is: "phoebee."

WOOD PEWEE (6-6y2") Sparrow-sized flycatcher olive brown above and whitish below with two very conspicuous wing bars but no eye ring. Lower mandible of bill is yellow'
Call: "pee-a-wee."

EVENING GROSBEAIK (71/e'81/2") Latge, chunky, shorttailed. Dusky yellowish color and extremely large conical white bill. Male has yellow mask above eyes, black and white wings. Female silver gray.

ROSE-BREASTEID GROSBEAK (7-81/2") Male is black and white with large triangular patch of red-rose on breast. In flight, ring of white flashes across upper feathers. Female very different, Iike sparrow.

HOUSE WREN (4yz'5y4") Very small bird in gray-brown color. Has energetic actions and cocks in tail over its back. Has no facial striping as other wrens have. Very songful. Builds in house.


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RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (7yz-gyz') Absolutely unmistakable. Black bird with bright red shoulder epaulettes. Female and young are brownish with sharp pointed bill and well deflned stripes below.

RUBY-CIIOWNED KINGLET (33/a-4!/2") Tiny, short-tailed olive gray with two pale wing bars and conspicuous broken eye ring. Male has scarlet crown-patch usually concealed. Stubby tail.

SCARLET TANAGER (6t/2-71/2") A bright scarlet bird with black wings and tail. The winter male, the immature and the female are dull green above and yellowish below. Males moult in fall season.

SLATE-COLORED JUNCO (6-GL/2") Also called Snowbird. Dark slate-gray with white belty. Has conspicuous white outer tail feathers visable in flight. Some have darker hoods. Young are even colored gray.

CHIPPING SPARROW (5-5y2") A small clear, gray-breasted sparrorrr with a bright rufous cap and a black line through the eye. Almost domestic. Nests near houses. Adults in winter are dull in color.

SONG SPARRO\M (5-63/+") Heavily streaked breast with a big "stick pin" or large central spot. Most common eastern sparrow. As it flies, it pumps its tail. Young do not have central spot.


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I{AIRY AND DOWNY WOODPECKERS (8/z-9t/2" a'nd 6r/z7" respectively) Are identical except size. White-backed with checkered black and white body. Small red patch on back of head. Females no patch.

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (9-IOyz") The only zebra' striped back woodpecker. MaIe has entire crown in bright red, female has red on nape of neck only. The young have a brown head, striped body.

RED-HEADED \IIIOODPECKEF. (81/z-9V2") The only bird with entirely red head. In flight, large square patches of white show on rear edge of wing. Male and female are alike, young are dusky.

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKFIB (8'8y2") The only woodpecker with a red forehead patch. Has longitudinal white stripe on black wing. Males have red throats; females, white. Young are sooty.

IIOOD THRUSH (7lB-81/2") Smaller than a robin. Is rustor rufous-headed with breast and sides heavily spotted. Round spots, not stripes. Similar to Thrasher but Thrush
has redder head.


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Bird study gives parents



children a valuable common in-

Hal Harrison-from National Audubon Society

Participating in this important annual census is a valuable contribution to conservation and the science of ornithology and you will find your efforts well rewarded.

In addition to the annual Christmas Count, there are a

number of other counts. White they are of less significance, they are just as interesting and enjoyable.

the big day

The Big Day is a Z4-hour bird count taken from midnight to midnight usually during the height of the spring migration. The object of this count is to see how many different species of birds can be sighted during this period. This is deflnitely a group activity. If the group or club is large, it may break up into smaller divisions, each covering a special location such as highlands, open fields, heavy woods, marshes, river banks, and lakeshores. If the group is small, the participants can travel together to cover the best places during the given time.

the big morning

Sometimes the members of a bird club cannot spare the time for an all-day outing. They then may cut down the Big Day to just a morning in which as many species as possible are identified. This half-day count can also be held in the afternoon if need be.



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field pictures
On field trips you will want a light camera of the type ilIustrated so that you can shoot fast and with a minimum of motion required for adjustments. Birds are extremely fast and you must be ready at all times to take pictures. Remember that any sudden motion will scare them away. When you spot a bird, freeze in position; then walk slowly toward it without sideward motion. Rest at intervals and get as close as possible. It is amazing how large birds appear to the naked eye and how small they become when you get them into your range flnder. Nor does their protective coloration make your task easier. Take your picture as quickly as possible. If you wait for just the right pose, you may end up with no picture at all. You will have to build up your colleetion of photographs by taking the picture available and then replacing the poorer ones with better shots Iater on.

control led-location pictures

Perhaps the most interesting and the best pictures are made where the location is controlled as on a feeder or birdbath. When you are attracting birds to your yard with feed and water, you have an excellent opportunity for taking good pictures. Here you have a prearranged setting that will enable you to locate your camera for the best lighting and composition. The camera can be mounted on a tripod close enough to your subjects so that their images will be large and clear like some of the pictures in this book. If the birds seem to be frightened and stay away from the feeder, substitute some object that resembles the camera and keep it in place for several days, if necessary, to
You can combine hobbies such as photography with bird watching.



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can be used, and this work may be of special interest to you. Bird banding is serious business. Before anyone can put a band on a bird's leg he must obtain a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior, a state permit, and be found qualified to do the work. For complete information on this important branch of bird watching, write to the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. They will tell you how to get a copy of Manua,l for Bird Banding written by F. C. Lincoin.

Bird banding is usually considered work for the advanced student or ornithologist. It is included here, however, because it is an important aspect of bird watching. There are only a few thousand banders in the entire country, so you can see how specialized a field it is. However, more banders

bird migration studies

Another interesting scientific branch of bird watching is the study of bird migration. This is an intriguing subject, and you will flnd many books in your library on the subject. For more than fifty years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Audubon Society have been collecting data on migration. The phenomenon of bird migration is so important that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has been passed protecting those species which pass back and forth between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. For active participation, get in touch with your local bird club or contact the Audubon Society or the Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, D. C. An excellent detailed study, Migration of Birds, circular 16, can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, Government printing Office,

Washington, D.C.

rare bird alert

A favorite activity of many groups is the ll,are Bird Alert. Members of a bird group decide what they believe to be a rare bird or species for the area. As soon as one is identifled, they alert the other members to be on the lookout for it. A certain amount of ingenuity is demanded but it's a big thrill to get on the trail of the rare bird.
These group activities are enjoyed immensely by all who take part in them. It has been said that if you meet a person in the country or in a park with a pair of binoculars strung around his neck you need no introduction; you just start to talk since you are on common ground!




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peopie believe one must live in the country or wooded area to enjoy this hobby.

in a heaviiy

This is not necessarily the case. True, some bushes and trees must grow in the vicinity to attract the birds in the flrst place, but once they know that food is available you will be surprised how far they wiII come to get it. A friend of ours lives in an area of apartment houses. There is not a tree or bush within several blocks of his apartment. However, three blocks away is a park, containing a stream and some bushes and trees, that makes a nice habitat for birds. My friend placed a feeder on his apartment-house window sill, hoping to iure birds from the park, but for several weeks nothing happened. Then one day a common sparrow found the feeder. fn a few days there were more sparrows. Now the owner has regular customers of sparrows, chicka_ dees, a pair of cardiirals, and, occasionally, other birds.
Do not become discouraged if birds do not appear at once. It may take weeks and weeks before they flnd the handout, but once they do, you will have to be ready to keep the feeder filled.
We have noticed that if we are away for several weeks and, because of our absence we have not fed the birds, it may take three or four days after our return before the birds are back at the feeders again. Although birds are not the most intelligent of animals, they do seem to form very strong

habits that guide and control most of their activities. rf they form a habit of coming to your feeder they will continue to come, until you stop putting out food. But once you stop feeding them, you must invite them back again if you want to have them develop the habit of visiting.
Shown on page 82 is a wind.ow-sheif feeder that works exceptionally well in an urban area. ff you want, you can add a small cup or container for water, such as a tin can, cut down to about an inch and a hatf high.
An everyday scene on

kee's lake front where mallards and other wild waterfowl gather by the thousands each day. This is an example of how wild birds can be enticed into the heart of a big busy city and enjoy it.


Milwaukee Journal photo


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join? How old shall they be? Most clubs provide for student memberships at reduced rates, particularly if they are in a college town where the students may be doing good ornithology research.

tific studies? Educate children? Are you interested in just birds or in all wildlife? Make it clear in your purpose. Article Three is delegated to membership. May anyone

Article Four covers meetings. It is normally the custom to meet once a month. The larger clubs have a tendency to meet in public libraries or schools, usually on a public transportation line. Smaller clubs meet in private homes. There should be a provision for an annual meeting. Article Five should provide for the election of a board of
directors. Personally my choice is to have a "Board" which carries on most of the business affairs so your club meetings can hear a few simple reports and vote on just the major issues. All reports should be in writing to save meeting time. Officers are the routine ones: chairman of the board, president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. A program committee is essential to success. There must be a meeting place, a speaker, a fi.lm, or topic for discussion. ft's an excellent idea to have sizable committees to share the burden. Other Suggestions. f heartily recommend a bulletin, even a simple mimeograph job. It should contain a list of birds seen in your area that month; a notice of next month's meeting and field trips; and some hints of birds to come in

the next season.

School and garden clubs will ask you for speakers. As you accumulate funds, plan to buy some bird slides from the National Audubon Society. Bird study will be more funand your club stronger-if you affiliate with state and national organizations.

study or conservation.

as short as possible. Strike a balance between pure entertainment and pure study but don't ignore either. I think it is a mistake to have "refreshments" at every meeting. It is too easy for a bird club to become nothing but a social organization. fn that event your good birders will drop out and the social-minded members left will not do much bird

A word about indoor meetings. Keep the business portion


Your leading members can give talks on bird identiflcation. Someone else can discuss bird books (with the help of your


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ning you can have a secluded path even on a small tot. A few open spots along the way will surely be a favorite retreat of the birds. The following pages give a list of the more popular trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers.

popular trees that attract birds

ALDER, A small tree or bush that is good for mass planting. Provides fair cover for protection but is not used by birds for nesting. Produces a fruit in August and September that is eaten by over 20 species of birds such as the tree sparrow, bobwhite, pheasant, grouse, woodcock, and. mourning dove. ELM

AMERICAN ELM An excellent tree for landscape use. Grows up to 129 feet tall. Provides good nesting and is excellent for swinging nests such as those of the oriole. produces a winged nut seed in March and May that is eaten by the goldfinch, pine siskin, and others. fnsects in the bark
are eaten by vireos and warblers.

ASH Grows up to 120 feet. Not too good for city planting. Provides good nesting and some protection. Has winged seed in October and November eaten by the purple fi.nch, grossbeak, and bobwhite.
BASSWOOD OR LINDEN Exceltent for shade planting. Grows up to 110 feet talt. Has beautiful shape, grows fast, and provides good nesting and protective coverting. In August to October it has a nutlike fruit eaten by many birds such as the redpoll, bobwhite, and grouse. Insects in the bark are eaten by warblers, vireos, and others.
'BEECH A large ornamental tree not common in city yards; more suited to its natural surroundings. provides good nesting facilities and protective cover. A three-angled nut is produced in September and October that is eaten by woodpeckers, blackbirds, flickers, wood duck, blue jays, and others. BIRCH Has excellent landscape value and offers good nesting. Decayed limbs are used by woodpeckers and chickadees. Has a small seed in late summer that appeals to the titmouse, junco, fi.nch, and blue jay. Insects that infest the tree are eaten by the warblers and vireos.



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MULBERRY Its graceful, light-green foliage makes it a good tree for ornamental planting and provides good coverage and nesting. fts soft, juicy fruit is eaten during the early summer and the entire nesting season. Attracts over 40 species of birds including cardinals, catbirds, thrushes, and mockingbirds. NORWAY SPRUCE One of the most poputar of the ornamental trees, often planted to provide a wind break. Excellent for nesting and cover. The cones have seeds that are eaten by flnches, grouse, grosbeaks, and other birds.


OAK (RED) Excellent for ornamental planting but grows very slowly up to 150 feet tall. Good for nesting and protection. Produces acorns, which are eaten by almost all species of birds. The insects that infect the bark are also eaten by birds. Almost all oaks possess these characteristics. The Northern Red Oak is found from Maine to Minnesota.
RED CEDAR Over 30 species are known and most of them are used extensively for ornamental planting. provides a year-round shelter and is good for nesting. The purple-blue berries ripen in early fall and provide food throughout the entire winter. Attract all the native birds that inhabit the eastern half of the country. SHADBUSH A small tree that has white blossoms in May. Offers only fair cover and nesting facilities. In midsummer it produces red berries that are eaten by over b0 speeies of birds, which makes it a favorite for attracting birds.
SOUR GUM An unusual tree that has briliant colors in fall. Provides good cover and nesting. Its blue berries last well into winter and are eaten by wood ducks, woodpeckers, thrushes, waxwings, blue jays, pheasants, robins, and many other beneficial birds.


WHITE PINE Its fine height makes it excellent for background planting. It provides excellent cover, good nesting for fi.nches, siskins, and warblers, and good. roosting for owls. Its cones provide abundant seed. for food. Attracrs
bobwhites, woodpeckers, pine siskins, nuthatches, warblers, and many other birds.



WHITE SPRUCE Grows tall and is very beautiful. Has flne landscape value and provides excellent cover and nesting. The cones bear seed that are eaten by crossbills, fi.nches, chickadees, woodpecks, and over 20 other species.


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DOGWOODS There are many varieties all of which have good landscape value in the flowering season and some of which are very beautiful with their yellow or red stems in the winter. Afford good protection and fair nesting, especially in the wild state. In September a blue-white berry is formed that is available to birds until midwinter. Favored by all birds.


ELDERBERRY Good for mass planting and as a wild shrub. Can be seen along country roadsides. Gives good cover and nesting. The juicy black fruit ripens in late summer and early fall and is eaten by over 115 species of birds which makes it a natural for the bird garden.

HIGHBUSH CRANBERRY Has exceptionatly fine flowers, foliage, and fruit and is recommended by the Soil Conservation Service. fts fine growth provides good nesting and excellent cover. The fruit ripens in September and October and lasts through the winter. Eaten by game birds but only a few songbirds.
HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRY A thick well-shaped shrub that has excellent fall foliage. It has good cover and fair nesting qualities. The fruit is the market variety of blueberry that ripens in midsummer. The berries are eaten by over g0 species of birds.


HONEYSUCKLE Almost a vine in shape. Provides good cover and nesting. The crimson berry ripens in fall and is available until early winter. It is eaten by birds while migrating. Almost all songbirds feed on the berry.

INKBERRY An evergreen shrub that has fine landscape use. Mass planting provides good cover. Produces a black berry that is the winter food of many birds such as the chickadee, titmouse, bobwhite, bluebird, robin, and catbird.
JAPANESE BARBERRY A widely used ornamental shrub that may be trimmed into hedges. Its sharp thorns provide excellent protection and good nesting for birds. Has a red berry that serves as an emergency food during winter. Eaten by sparrows, juncos, catbirds, thrushes, and many



MAPLE-LEAVED VIBURNUM Excellent for low ma,ss plantings-very popular with nurserymen. Good for ground nesting birds such as grouse. Affords cover and produces fruit in fall for winter feeding. Attracts the flicker, robin, grouse, bobwhite, waxwing, bluebird, and others.


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arbor. Has no nesting or cover q-ua'i:e_<:: s:r,*- ot. The berries are an excellent source of birc i::: ,- :a-' a:d well into the winter. Eaten by both song Ja-: :_::s. MATRIMONY VINE When planted i:e -ass:: :: a,s a wall covering, it has good landscape value. i---: --a< strorfg spines which provide excellent protectic: The "-: -=s:rg. scarlet fruit is available in fall and earil- lr-,-::e: is eaten -:: by migrating and local songbirds. GREENBRIER Has litfle landscape vai:e. :-:: ::s thick growth gives it good nesting and cove::ig :-:a-.::es for protecting birds. The fruit is excellent anl ]as:s r:e entire winter well above the snow line. It is eaten b; 1l s:-ies. HALL'S HONEYSUCKLE The flowers are a::ra.::-;e and the vine is used extensivery as a wall coverirs. -{jc:ds good. winter protection since the leaves stay on. -{st provides good nesting. The black berries last weLI i::to rt-inter. such birds as song sparrows, flickers, grouse. and reeaCcw larks

feed on them.

VIRGINIA CREEPER Another popular vine used exten_ sively for decoration. Has briiliant color i:r fail. provides good cover and nesting. The Virginia Creeper is oerhaps the best producer of natural food for birds ana shoula be
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attract every species of birds.

WILD GRAPE This prolific vine has no land.scape r-alue for formal planting but it is a must for the wiJd grden. It provides only fair cover and nesting but its grapes are the fall and winter diet of armost all birds. This one vine will



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