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

Author’s Note

Happy Fall!

Spending more time at home means I’m spending more time in the backyard. I have been in awe at the sights I have missed over the years. Lately, I have been watching the backyard monarchs as if they were my own children! As the days get shorter, here are a few things to consider this time of year:

  1. Skip the fall clean-up to help local wildlife
  2. Consider sowing seeds
  3. Fuel fall migrants

I’m also excited to announce the new Wild Acres public events page which will feature upcoming webinars sponsored by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. In addition, the Gardening for Pollinators webinar​ is now available on-demand. HabiChat subscribers will receive webinar updates as they are scheduled.

Furthermore, if you are in need of trees and shrubs for conservation or lumber, check out the Maryland State Tree Nursery​ which is now accepting orders for Spring 2021.

For those interested in more information on managing your property for wildlife, the University of Maryland Extension will offer a Wildlife Management Online Course for the spring 2021 semester. The course will be offered in an online version only. The course begins February 1 and runs until May 15, 2021. Registration is $150 and opens November 1, 2020. To register, go to their website at https://extension.umd.edu/wildlife-course or click on https://2021wildlifecourse.eventbrite.com​. For more information, contact Nancy Stewart at the University of Maryland Extension phone 410/827-8056, ext. 107; or email nstewar1@umd.edu.

In this issue, you can learn about the lovely black and yellow garden spiders which can be seen this time of year, as well as information on the vigorous, native switchgrass. Additional articles include information on the importance of warm season grasses and why leaving flower stems up through the winter helps pollinators.

Happy Habitats,
Kerry Wixted


Mourning Dove, photo by Kerry Wixted
Getting Close (Monarch chrysalis), photo by Kerry Wixted


In This Issue

Native Animal Profile: Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Native Plant Profile: Switchgrass (panicum virgatum)

Warm Season Grasses for Wildlife

Creating Backyard Wildlife Habitat for Stem-nesting Bees​



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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.​