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HABITAT - the arrangement of food, water, cover, and space - IS THE KEY.

Author’s Note

I love fall. As the days grow shorter and the temperature starts to dip, wildlife activity in the garden often intensifies. Animals that stay during the winter are busy caching food and fattening up, while others are fueling up to travel long distances to warmer climates.

In this issue of HabiChat, we’ll focus on a native fruit tree known as the paw-paw, a favorite fruit of George Washington and an excellent food source for many mammals. In addition, you can learn about potter wasps and their unique nest structures that can be found around local gardens, as well as ways to bewitch local butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) to overwinter in your yard. Finally, we have a quick list of common questions that often pop up in the fall.

Happy Habitats!,
Kerry Wixted

Paw-paw flower, drak red and leathery looking with a light colored center.

Paw-paw flower by Judy Gallagher, Flickr CC by 2.0


In This Issue:

Bewitching Butterflies and Moths with Fall and Winter Habitat

As the weather begins to cool, many species begin to prepare for fall and winter. What happens to butterflies, and how can we help them with our gardens? Read more.

Common Questions for Fall Backyards

When is the best time of year to remove your hummingbird feeders? Can you sow wildflower seeds in the fall? What are the best types of seeds to feed birds? The answers to these questions more are available here!

Paw-Paw (Asimina triloba)

What in the world is a paw-paw? Paw-paws (Asimina triloba) are America’s forgotten fruit. These trees with mango-like fruits can be found throughout moist woods and along streams in Maryland. There are even a few local farms that grow paw-paws! Read more.

Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

Oftentimes, the word wasp incites fear and anxiety. However, many of Maryland’s 1,200+ wasp species are relatively small and docile in nature. One neat group is potter wasps; they serve as both pollinators and predators in the garden Read more.


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We want to hear from you!

Letters, e-mail, photos, drawings. Let us know how successful you are as you create wildlife habitat on your property.

Write to Me!

Kerry Wixted
Natural Resources Biologist II
Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service
MD Dept of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-1
Annapolis MD 21401

phone: 410-260-8566
fax: 410-260-8596
e-mail: kerry.wixted@maryland.gov

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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 Resources. The facilities and services of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are available to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disability. This document is available in alternative format upon request from a qualified individual with a disability.​