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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Birds on the Farm

Monday I spent the day in meetings at the Agricultural Wildlife Conservation Center of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Madison, Mississippi. This office works with partners to develop resources to help farmers and others maintain wildlife on their property. NRCS is the principal federal agency working with private landowners to protect wildlife, and I've enjoyed working with them the last few years at Audubon. If you have a farm, the AWCC is there to help you create and protect wildlife habitat on your land.

The AWCC office used to be relatively isolated, but it is surrounded now by retail development. There are still Eastern Towhees and Brown Thrashers nesting in the bushes between the parking lot and the building, and over 45 Eastern Bluebirds have fledged from the box on the tree near the parking lot.

Driving around before the meeting, and on the way to the airport, I easily saw 24 species (120% of Bird RDA). Most notable to me, were the sheer numbers of Eastern Towhees calling all over town. In many cities, these birds are driven out by a lack of shrubby woodlands, but Jackson is almost all shrubby woodland--even the residential neighborhoods--so these birds are plentiful.

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