[BCNnet] (no sightings but there should be if you follow the
instrux) News article post-Wild Things Conf
Randi Doeker - Chicago
rbdoeker at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 27 06:57:58 CST 2005
>From Sunday's Sun Times
If you missed the Wild Things Conference, you did MISS a great day of
events. Kudos to all involved. Here's the first report I've seen and it's
just the type of information we want the general public to remember.
Chicago - Cook Co.
Oak is truly a tree for the birds
February 27, 2005
BY DAVE NEWBART <mailto:dnewbart at suntimes.com> Staff Reporter
Like birds? Plant an oak or elm tree. Those maples may be beautiful -- but
birds aren't impressed.
That's what researchers found when tracking which trees are preferred by the
tens of millions of birds that fly through Chicago each spring.
The researchers tracked birds in April and May for three straight years at
18 sites around the Chicago area, including along the Chicago River and near
Brookfield Zoo. They discussed the results of their as-yet-unpublished study
at the Wild Things Chicago Wilderness Conference on Saturday at Northeastern
They found that oaks were by far the most popular trees, preferred by such
birds as the Baltimore oriole, the Tennessee warbler and the rose-breasted
grosbeak. Oak trees grow their leaves relatively early in the spring and
play host to a variety of insects.
Spread beyond native areas
"Oaks are the most important,'' said study co-author Doug Stotz, a
conservation ecologist at the Field Museum. But they are being crowded out
by maples, which produce more seeds and grow faster. With no natural fires
to clear them out, maples have spread to areas beyond their native areas
along riverbanks and ravines, he said. They can sprout up below oak trees
and prevent new oaks from taking root.
Maples are used less by birds because they grow their leaves way too early
in the spring and do not host as many insects, Stotz said. However, because
maples do host birds later in the year, they should be allowed to grow --
but only in their native areas. "You need diversity,'' he said.
Judy Pollock, projects coordinator for Audubon Chicago Region, said the
study should help city planners and Park District workers decide which trees
to plant, and it suggests that some maples should be cleared from non-native
areas to promote oak growth.
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