Habichat Summer 2021

HabiChat Vol.25, No. 2 For Stewards of Maryland's Backyard Wildlife

Happy Summer HabiChat fans!

Wow! What an emergence for Brood X! While I enjoyed the periodical cicadas for the most part, I am happy to have a bit of reprieve from the noise.

In addition to Brood X, we also have been receiving reports of sick birds around the region. Since the initial reports in May, the reports have come in from Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. At this time, not much is known and we are suggesting people temporarily cease feeding birds until more is known about the causative agent and how it spreads. Please see the USGS Interagency statement for more information. For Maryland residents, if you encounter sick or dead birds, please contact the DNR/USDA Wildlife Services hotline (877-463-6497) or (410-349-8130) for those with numbers outside of Maryland. If you must remove dead birds, place them in a sealable plastic bag to dispose of with household trash. Additional information will be shared as diagnostic results are received.

This issue is a bit bittersweet. After almost ten years of writing for HabiChat and running the Wild Acres program, I will be heading out to work on new initiatives. I have very much enjoyed working with backyard wildlife habitat enthusiasts across Maryland and hope you continue to work on creating wildlife friendly spaces! The Wild Acres program and HabiChat newsletter will still be available.

In this summer issue, learn a little more about the beautiful and often overlooked rosy maple moth as well as other royal silkworms in Maryland. In addition, black walnut is our native plant featured this month. This species supports several species of royal silkworm moths as well as more than 100 other butterfly and moth species. With the summer heat and rains, our wild turtles are also on the move, so you can read about how to give local box turtles a boost in your backyard.

Black walnut fruit (left) and husk (right) - Photo by Stephen Badger 


Happy Habitats,
Kerry Wixted

In This Issue


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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.​