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.

Bill Dunson

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