Bill Dunson, born in rural Georgia, skipped 12th grade and went directly to Yale. He subsequently received his PhD in Zoology from the University of Michigan. Bill is Professor Emeritus of Pennsylvania State University, thanks to a career spent teaching and researching the physiological ecology and ecotoxicology of reptiles, amphibians and fish. Bill has dedicated his life to learning and sharing his knowledge with others. Join him as he observes our better nature on the Island, his newest home.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Screechie in the date palm tree
Red male screech owl in pygmy date palm
Screech owl in yard box
Hi Nancy and Dave-
Concerning your desire to maximize your native plant species in your Rotonda yard by removing exotics:
Do NOT cut down your exotic pygmy date palm !!! We have had a red morph male screech owl roosting in our pygmy date palm for years with his presumed female in a nearby box. He obviously prefers this palm, for its protective spines perhaps, over a lot of alternative native vegetation. The native vegetation can be used to make a clump of shrubs around the date to provide additional cover. I have added a second box recently about 100 feet away in the front yard to see if we can attract a second pair.
This is a great example of how a mix of selected non-invasive exotic plants and native plants can enhance the wildlife habitat in your yard.
Another example is the osprey nest in our yard on top of a Norfolk Island pine.
Feel free to stop by (call first at 276-233-6364 cell and text) and see how this has worked for us.