Backyardsafari's Blog

Environmental Inspiration in Your Own Backyard

Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — backyardsafari @ 6:43 pm
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Happy Earth Day Everyone!

As you have probably heard, today is Earth Day–a day that inspires everyone to do something extra for the environment. So what interests you? Do you want to go for a walk? Watch the birds visiting your bird feeder? Plant a tree in your yard or nearby? Turn off the TV for an extra hour?  Spend some more time in your gardenThe possibilities are endless!

Not sure what you want to do?  Here are a few websites that might help you out!

If you’re looking for somewhere to go outside of your backyard, try using the National Wildlife Federation’s ‘Nature Find‘ website, that can help you “get outdoors wherever you are.”

They also have a great compilation of activities to do with your kids or by yourself, which you can find here. I would have loved doing any of these things as a child, and many of them I would still do now!

You can also take part in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Pick 5 for the Environment,” in which you pledge to do five different things to help make the world a cleaner, greener place.

If you are looking for an Earth Day event to attend, check out the Earth Day Network’s event search, which you can find here.

There are so many things to do, this list could go on and on.  I encourage you to join any events or rallies that speak to you, but most importantly I encourage all of us to just go outside! If we each tried to learn just one new thing, what a difference it could make!

Let me give you an example.  In my last post, I mentioned the mourning doves that have set up camp on my balcony. The other day I went out there and discovered that the doves have actually made a nest out of one of my plants and have laid eggs!  They are almost completely hidden from my normal view, which is why I didn’t know they were even there until I went out to water the plant and a bird suddenly exploded out of nowhere. Take a look at how clever this nesting site is:

This is what I see when I look out at my balcony.  But look what is hiding on the other side of this plant!

(Note: Picture was taken after I accidently scared the bird away! It came back a few moments later)

I did some research and found that dove couples split up the time they sit on the nest, with the male usually sitting during the day and the female sitting at night.

Well, today, as part of my own personal Earth Day celebration I went for a walk around my apartment building to see what I could find.  In addition to seeing the new burrows the groundhogs are digging out in the retention pond and a bunch of starlings (uh oh!), I saw a whole group of mourning doves foraging in the grass by one of the buildings!  This is very exciting to me, because it means I probably know where the birds are going when they are not sitting on the nest. Also, because of the way the nest time is shared, I know that I probably saw the females of each couple, searching for food and getting a much needed stretch after hours of sitting still. How amazing, that in just a short walk what was once half a story is now a complete one. Now I know where the birds I share my home with are going, and what their plans are like.

There is so much going on all around us! The more familiar you become with the types of species you have, and eventually even with the individuals, the more interesting your world will become. Likewise, the more we know about the world around us, the more we care about what happens to it! So don’t worry too much if you don’t have a fleet of seedlings to plant, or a giant poster to hang out your window in honor of Earth Day! Just get out there and see what you can see!

In the end, I believe these are the things that will truly make a difference!

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