ann vayansky audubon society

Ann Vayansky shows off a sneezeweed, a plant named as such because people once crushed its dried leaves and inhaled them to cause sneezing - an action believed to get rid of evil spirits.

Wellsboro, Pa. -- Why attract birds to your yard? There are many benefits beyond the joy of watching them flutter about the yard.

Birds eat insects, spiders, grubs, and other backyard pests--a natural, chemical free pest control system! Larger birds can take care of rodents, too.

They also pollinate flowers and eat the seeds of your most persistent weeds.

The Tiadaghton Audubon Society is hosting a free program, open to the public, titled "Encouraging Birds to Your Backyard." Rain or shine, the program is on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. in the Nature Center at Hills Creek State Park, 111 Spillway Road, Wellsboro. The program will be presented by Ann Vayansky.

If it rains, the program will be in the Nature Center pavilion.

Experienced birders are often asked how to attract birds to a yard, and the general answers usually consist of setting up feeders, birdhouses, water, and trees. Though technically correct, this answer can be a little vague; it makes a big difference to birds and wildlife what kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants people have on their property.

Recently, when a mysterious virus infected large numbers of songbirds and people were advised not to feed them, natural food (for example, shrubs that produce berries that birds enjoy) became even more important.

Hills Creek has a garden of native plants at its Nature Center. Vayansky will talk about the merits of some of the plants in this garden and the importance of people incorporating them and others into their landscaping to encourage birds and other wildlife to visit.

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