The Garden’s meadows, marshes, shrubbery, forests and birdhouses attract many bird species that nest and raise families. This spring nesting birds could easily be viewed by visitors. Amazingly, Canada Geese, Mallards, Killdeer, and Red-winged Blackbirds nested on the lake and cattail marsh near the new Welcome Center’s intense construction activity.
One Killdeer family nested within ten feet of the building foundation installation. The mother never left the nest while crews worked to install the forms and pour concrete. After hatching the young chicks were led to the grass lawn near the Nature Center.
Multiple Mallard nests were located on Little Smith Lake and one nest at the Damson Aquatic Garden produced ten ducklings tolerant to approaching children. Three families of Red-winged Blackbirds, more than observed in previous years, set up residence in the cattail marsh near the Boeing-Toyota Amphitheater.
Birdhouses along the fence behind the amphitheater were selected by Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows while Killdeer nested in the East Meadow behind the Children’s Garden that also includes a colony of sixteen gourds of nesting Purple Martins that have produced over 80 chicks. Tufted Titmice, Carolina and House Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds and Carolina Chickadees made homes in the various birdhouses along the Lewis Birding Trail. Early morning walks offer the joy of seeing many bird families nurturing their young fledglings.