planting for birds

Conservation Connections - Fall 2017

News and tips about our trails, open space and natural resources from Weston's Conservation Department.

In this issue:

  • Breeding Season - motorists are warned to be mindful of increased deer activity
  • Planting for Pollinators - native plants support our pollinators
  • Planting for Birds - the results are better than a bird feeder
  • Mapping Invasive Species - bittersweet is bad
deer crossing

Watch Out for Deer

White-tailed deer are now breeding and are more active, especially during early morning and evening hours. White-tailed deer breed from late October to early December, which is why there is increased activity.

Slow down and watch the sides of the road for deer. It's hard to predict which way the animal will jump if spooked, so be cautious. 

sea holly

Planting for Pollinators

There has been a marked decline of many wild insect pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, that has led to fears that this important process may be in danger of collapse and would have dire consequences for agricultural crops, many wild plants, and ecosystems.

There are many factors contributing to the decline of pollinators, but the greatest is the reduced number of native flowers in the landscape. This fascinating article "Planting for Pollinators" provides insight into the research of the decline and the value of pollinators. 

The New England Wildflower Society has compiled a list of native pollinator plants perfect for your landscape.

goldfinch on coneflower

Planting for Birds

In the face of overwhelming environmental problems such as habitat loss and climate change, Audubon Society's Plants for Birds Program encourages landscapes that support birds. With the newly launched native plants database, people across the country can create a more nourishing environment for the birds they know and love.

More and more, native plants and trees are being replaced with more exotic or pest-resistant species. A landscape that loses its native plants also loses its native insects. And without those insects, birds have little to eat. Land birds need insects to survive and thrive and 96% of them feed insects to their young. But by choosing native plants, we can restore the function of much of what has been lost. We can replace vast areas of non-native and nutrient-poor lawn and non-native plantings with rich habitats that are more nourishing to birds – habitats that are structured to provide year-round shelter and sustenance for birds and other wildlife. Read more of the "Plants for Birds: Plant It and They Will Come" article.

The native plants database can be found at By entering your zip code, a customized list of locally native plants will be created. You'll also be connected to our local Audubon, other native plant resources such as native plant societies, and nearby native plant nurseries.

Content available at details how to create a bird-friendly habitat, what to consider before hitting the nursery, and more.


Mapping Invasive Plant Species

Sudbury Valley Trustees will be holding an Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) training at Wolbach Farm in Sudbury on Saturday, December 2nd from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

EDDMapS is the only invasive species mapping system approved by the state of Massachusetts. It allows for the real-time tracking of invasive species to be displayed on local and national distribution maps.This data collection will be used to inform the efforts of the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA) and Massachusetts invasive plant control efforts as a whole. 

Sudbury Valley Trustee’s training will include both an indoor tutorial on the EDDMapS website and an outdoor training utilizing the Outsmart Invasives app which allows for EDDMapS reporting in the field. 

For more information, please email Paige Dolci, SVT's Land Stewardship Coordinator with TerraCorps, at

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