Gillian Martin

How to doom a Robin’s nestlings without trying

How to doom a Robin’s nestlings without trying

The answer to this question has recently been learned (or possibly re-learned) by Artistic Maintenance of El Toro, California.  Its client, the Homeowner’s Association of Saint Michel of Newport Coast, and their property management company, First Service Residential, can likely now provide the answer as well.  In mid-July, two active bird nests were lost to […]

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Unravelling a mystery in a woodpecker’s cavity

Unravelling a mystery in a woodpecker’s cavity

When photographer, Peggy Honda, recently sent us this photo of a Downy nestling we found it startling!  Look closely!  The countless specks on the tree and inside the cavity are ants! Naturally we became anxious.  Earlier photos Peggy sent us confirm that the ants were not present when their parents first occupied the cavity (at least not […]

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Wildlife-trained Tree Care Workers act as First Responders for Baby Hawks

Wildlife-trained Tree Care Workers act as First Responders for Baby Hawks

Not all first responders show up to handle emergencies with flashing lights, blaring sirens and recognizable badges.  Some are simple men in orange shirts and helmets like West Coast Arborists’ Foreman, Francisco Villanueva, and his crew.  On May 24 they were called to McClatchy Park in Sacramento, California, to remove a fallen elm, but then unexpectedly […]

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An inspiring and conscience-driven book for gardeners and nurseries

An inspiring and conscience-driven book for gardeners and nurseries

I have started and stopped and started again to write a review deserving of the accomplishment of Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz’s book Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees, gardening alternatives to non-native species, an illustrated guide. The authors deliver much more than the title promises. Biodiversity: The Impact of the Every-Day Gardener could have […]

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Follow Betsy Leibson’s bubble that does not burst!

Follow Betsy Leibson’s bubble that does not burst!

Often when our Wildlife Tree signs are shipped out of California we get something wonderful in return from those that installed them!  A story about another exceptional person who is doing mountains more than preserving dead trees.  Meet Betsy Leibson, founder of  Friends of the Green Bay Trail in Glencoe, Illinois.  The restoration has focused […]

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One old tree.  Two new families.

One old tree. Two new families.

Let’s appreciate birds for yet another reason.  For reminding us that a dead tree is a place where life begins! A few years ago, Orange County Parks’ Supervising Park Ranger, Adam Shuck, approved this tree (among others) for retention in his park.  This week, while on a field trip with Sea and Sage Audubon, birdwatcher […]

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Do you know how to “read” a dead tree?

Do you know how to “read” a dead tree?

One ranger, naturalist, and arborist at a time, we are engaging others in turning dead trees into teachers.  Even fallen ones!  This weekend we added Ranger Jennifer Prewitt of Orange County Parks, California, to the list!  When a dead tree in her park became a casualty of  a recent storm, she got permission from Senior […]

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The Humane Gardener can be you!

The Humane Gardener can be you!

When Nancy Lawson contacted the Cavity Conservation Initiative early in 2016 to discuss our focus on the ecological benefits of dead trees, we knew she was working on the final chapter of her book, The Humane Gardener.  Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife.  The chapter, The Gift that Keeps on Giving:  Encourage Life in the Decay, […]

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A village in Illinois forges a park from weeds and waste

A village in Illinois forges a park from weeds and waste

Let us take you back to the beginning. In 1998, in the small village of Wilmette, Illinois, a three-city-block long, 20-foot-wide strip of woodland is unattended and derelict. It has succumbed to invasive vines, weeds and non-native trees, and is a convenient dump for yard waste, dead trees and litter.  To its neighbors, Susan Gaines-Gatto […]

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Working for birds is a trip!

Working for birds is a trip!

Literally and figuratively!   This past weekend we took on the long drive to San Diego to attend the San Diego Audubon Society’s annul birding festival in Mission Bay.  This is one of several events to which we travel annually.  But this one is splendidly organized and has something for everyone!  You might consider attending […]

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