As I’ve written before on this blog, nettles (Urtica spp.) are important food plants for birds, both due to insects and their larvae feeding on them in summer and the nutrient rich seed in winter. Today there was a small flock of redpolls (gråsisik) feeding on the seed on a small patch of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) that I’ve been encouraging just below the house and in good view of the living room.
In July, I forecast it was going to be a good year for the birds with exceptional flowering of birch, lime, rowan, maples and other trees (http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=22951) At the moment there are large numbers of redpolls (gråsisik) in the garden and with no snow they are able to feed on the ground.
The pitter patter of birch seed bracts (or scales) as you can hear at the beginning of the video can only mean one thing here, a large flock of siskins / grønnsisik (or sometimes redpolls / gråsisik) at the top of this birch tree creating a shower of debris from the bird’s feeding! However, they ARE silent when dining!
A new for me plant that is both edimental (edible and ornamental) and is also bird food in the winter! Even more reason to grow North American Anise Hyssop (anisisop), Agastache foeniculum, on which these redpolls (gråsisik) are feeding…
I always dreamed of working in a botanical garden and somehow my wish has come true only 7 months after retiring from job as an ocean wave climatologist!
Even better, I can come and go as I wish (more or less)…I now have an office where I will be able to document and tend (in summer) my onion garden, as visiting researcher :)
…and the staff are lovely people too :)
090118: Wren foraging and joined by a second bird120118: It’s quite a few years I’ve seen two-barred crossbill (båndkorsnebb), but then I’ve never deliberately sought them out at Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim which, because of its collection of conifers, is one of the best places to see this species, the less common of the 3 crossbills here…only one female with a single common or parrot crossbill…
090118: Wrens (gjerdesmett):
120118: What are these redpolls (gråsisik) feeding on?:
120118: Magpie (skjære):
120118: Dark red squirrel (ekorn):
090118: Blackbird under Ribes alpinum
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden