Out My Backdoor: Weather Stripping Homes Nothing New to Nuthatches

By Terry W. Johnson

The winter of 2009-2010 is one we will long remember. Snow has blanketed the state from Rising Fawn to the peanut fields of South Georgia. If that wasn’t enough, temperatures have plummeted into the teens. This caused the cost of heating our homes to soar skyward faster than our national debt. Homeowners who had the foresight to winterize their homes by caulking the cracks around windows and doors, and took other measures to reduce heat loss, actually are being rewarded with lower energy bills. 

Out My Backdoor: Warm Havens for Winter Birds

By Terry W. Johnson

While drinking a cup of hot, steaming coffee on a recent cold winter morning, I noticed that most of the wildlife activity in my backyard centered on my bird feeders. Nearby, a nesting box stood like a silent sentinel watching the parade of birds and squirrels dining at my wildlife café.

While it appeared the box served no purpose this time of the year, I knew better. One late afternoon about a week before, as the sun was seemingly dissolving on the western horizon, I just happened to see two bluebirds fly into the box.

Out My Backdoor: The Christmas Hummingbird?

By Terry W. Johnson

There are a number of birds that we associate with Christmas. Some such as the robin, dove and goldfinch owe their association to this holiday because legend tells us they were present at the birth of Christ. Others are linked with Christmas because they are commonly depicted on Christmas cards. Over the years I have received Christmas cards featuring birds such as ducks, geese, blue jays, quail, chickadees and, of course, the all-time favorite – the cardinal.

Out My Backdoor: Bluebird Nesting – A True-life Drama

To me, having a pair of bluebirds nest in my backyard is a really big deal. It means that I provided the birds with a much-needed place for them to lay their eggs. It also guarantees that I will be regularly seeing one of our most colorful birds for weeks to come.

Let’s take a quick glimpse at the compelling story of bluebird nesting. I am convinced that once you get a feel for what goes on in and around a nesting structure, you will better appreciate why bluebirds nesting in your yard is such a special event.

Out My Backdoor: Make Your Yard a Pit Stop for Southbound Migrants

By Terry W. Johnson

The plight of neotropical migratory birds is well documented. These are the birds that nest throughout North America and winter in Latin America, a kaleidoscope of birds including orioles, warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers and other colorful songsters. The fact that many of them are suffering frightening population declines is a major concern for conservationists.

Out My Backdoor: Hummingbirds Also Provide July Fireworks

By Terry W. Johnson

If you are like most hummingbird enthusiasts during the past few weeks, you have probably asked yourself, where are the hummingbirds?

I wish I had a good answer. However, I can tell you this: Just as the nighttime skies were illuminated with fireworks on the Fourth of July, I am equally certain that hummingbird numbers will soon explode in your backyard.