Saturday, January 2, 2016

Backyard Bioblitz 2016

When we moved into our Greeneville home in August of 2013, we arrived to find a veritable jungle of invasive plants in our backyard,
invasives
mostly privet and Japanese honeysuckle. After a few years of invasive removal
out to the curb
the yard looks a bit better, although there is still work to be done. This late fall I planted some native wildflowers (columbine, wild geranium, and rattlesnake master) along the edge of the wooded area out back. Some natives have started to fill the edge in as well. These natives include a goldenrod species, white snakeroot, an aster species, and tall ironweed.  In addition, I've created some flower beds along the wall of the home in a few locations. So far the native wildflowers I've planted include butterfly weed, purple coneflower, and black-eyed Susan.

This year we want to really take stock of all the life we've got going on in our backyard. For purposes of the bioblitz we will include our side yards and front yard as well. We will count all bird, mammal, reptile, insect, and amphibian species we find, both native and non-native. We will also include all fungi and plants we find, both native and non-native. I plan to photograph as much of the life we find as possible, but without a really good camera, many of the animals we see will be difficult to capture in digital image form. We plan to keep a running list throughout 2016 and see how many different species we end with at the end. We started yesterday (1/1/2016) by tallying several bird species and one mammal species. Today we added a few more birds. I also identified a few tree/shrub species that are growing in our yards. All the tree/shrub species are evergreens. We have a winter tree finder, but I would rather wait until they have foliage and/or flowers to photograph them and add them to our list.

Here is a list of species we've seen so far:
  • non-natives are marked with an *asterisk 

Birds:
  • Northern cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
  • mourning dove Zenaida macroura
  • American goldfinch Carduelis tristis
  • tufted titmouse Parus bicolor
  • Carolina wren Thryothorus ludovicianus
  • American robin Turdus migratorious
  • brown headed cowbird Molothrus ater
  • blue jay Cyanocitta cristata
  • downy woodpecker Picoides pubescens
  • red bellied woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
  • white breasted nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
  • Carolina chickadee Parus carolinensis
  • song sparrow Melospiza melodia
  • red tailed hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  • house finch Caprodacus mexicanus
  • *European starling Sturnus vulgaris
Mammals:
  • gray squirrel Sciurus carolinensis
Trees and shrubs: 
  • Virginia pine or scrub pine Pinus virginiana Pinus virginiana
  • Eastern Redcedar Juniperus virginiana 
 Eastern Redcedar
  • American Holly Ilex opaca
 American Holly
  • Southern magnolia Magnolia grandiflora
Southern magnolia
  • *Nandina or heavenly bamboo  Nandina domestica
 nandina
Fungi:  
  • Cedar apple rust  Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae
gall

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