Maryland's Wild Acres
HABITAT - the arrangement of food, water, cover, and space -
IS THE KEY.
In This Issue
Native Plant Profile: Red Osier Dogwood
Maryland Wildlife: Eastern Box Turtle
Birding Tips for Families
Creating a Wild Backyard - Use Trees to Attract
Common Names: Red Osier Dogwood, Red Stem Dogwood
Family: Conaceae (Dogwood family)
General Description: Red osier dogwood is a small to medium sized deciduous
shrub with green stems that turn reddish or purple-red from late summer into
early fall, becoming brighter in winter.
Leaves: Opposite leaves with rounded bases are long and somewhat narrow.
Dark green in color, turning a dull red, purple-red, or orange in autumn.
Flowers/Fruit: Clusters of small white flowers appear in late May to early
July, followed by pale blue fruit maturing in August to September.
Height: 3-6 feet
Growth: Fast grower, spreading 10-15 feet
Soil: Prefers moist soil but adapts to a range of soils and locations.
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Importance to Wildlife: Many wildlife species including song birds and
squirrels eat the dogwood fruit. The Red Stem Dogwood is also great for a
Landscaping Notes: Great for planting as beds, borders, and waterside.
Did you know?
Photographs (top to bottom) of Red Osier Dogwood
Size: Average 4½- 6 inches (11.5-15.2 cm)
General description: Box turtles are one of the most common turtles found in
suburban areas. They have a high dome-like carapace that allows them to fully
withdraw into their shells.
Coloration: Box turtles are dark brown with black, orange or yellow
Life Span: Box turtles may live for more than 100 years.
Food Habits: Opportunistic omnivores feeding on a variety of animals and
vegetable matter, including but not limited to, earthworms, slugs, beetles,
grasses, fruit, berries, mushroom, flowers, and carrion.
Habitat: They live in open woodlands near ponds and streams. Preferring
deciduous or mixed forested regions with a moderately moist forest floor
with good drainage, they can also be found in open grasslands, pastures, or
under fallen logs. They may sometimes visit a cool mud puddle or pond to
cool off in the hot summer.
When frightened, box turtles retract their head, tail, and limbs into
their shell and clamp it shut. They wait in this position until the
perceived threat is gone.
While juveniles have several predators, very few
species can prey effectively on adults due to this defense technique.
Birdwatching is a favorite hobby for millions of Americans. For
many, birding is serious business, with participants becoming
experts in locating and identifying even the rarest of birds. But
birding can be simple, too, and you don't need to know how to
identify a single species to help your kids get started.
To Begin Birding, All you Need are Three Items
Binoculars or pairs of empty toilet
paper rolls to make pretend binoculars
A field guide
A blank notebook
On the Walk
After the Walk
Did you know?
Birding is the number one sport in America? According to US Fish
and Wildlife Service, there are currently 51.3 million birders in
the United States alone, and this number continues to grow!
This article is part of the Family Time Series on the Audubon website:
Audubon website for even more ideas about how families can enjoy
the nature together.
"Learning to be still in order to tune into the
is one of the greatest lessons kids can learn."
Use Trees to Attract Wildlife
Marylanders Plant Trees
If you enjoyed this issue of Habichat, you might want to check out
our the Online Habichat Archive and the
List of Habichat Articles
We want to hear from you!
Letters, e-mail, photos, drawings. Let us know how
successful you are as you create wildlife habitat on
Write to Me!
Natural Resources Biologist II
Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service
MD Dept of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-1
Annapolis MD 21401
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Habichat, the newsletter for Maryland's Stewards of Backyard Wildlife, is
published by the Wildlife and Heritage Service, Maryland Department of Natural
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