All manner of winged creatures benefit from good pollinator habitat
Story by Tom Carpenter, photos by Anna Swerczek
You can’t hear a butterfly flutter, but you can smile and be happy just seeing the waft of silken wings.
You can hear a bee buzz, and then you wonder at the magic of his work as he pauses on a summer wildflower blossom.
Your heart halts to the flush of a rooster pheasant … from the same kind of habitat that, in spring, nurtured that bird and his brothers and sisters, and any number of upland songbirds from grassland sparrows to bobolinks.
The magic of wings.
Were I a preacher – and in a way I guess I am – you would hear me shout it from a mountaintop or perhaps, in this case, a swell on the prairie, a hill in a meadow or most any place wildflowers grow:
What’s good for pollinators – stiff-stemmed stemmed forbs (better known as wildflowers) that offer a progression of warm-weather blooms and stand up tough year-round to let pheasants big and little run around underneath – is good for gamebirds! And a whole lot of other creatures.
That’s why Pheasants Forever is, hands down, a leader in pollinator conservation. Pollinators matter to our larger world, too: That’s why we are so active encouraging small and even tiny tracts of wildflowers in addition to the big projects PF is famous for. And it’s why we annually celebrate Pollinator Week
with a wide variety of partner organizations.
Here are a few facts and numbers to put some oomph behind the preaching. To date, Pheasants Forever has:
- Developed native seed mixes that have included milkweed for 28,478 projects across the Midwest in the last six years, impacting 289,875 acres and planting 1.05 billion milkweed seeds in the process.
- Supported, with native seed mixes, 5,478 projects impacting 30,017 acres in just the last year alone, planting 133,715,668 milkweed seeds in the process.
- Engaged schools and community groups throughout the country in establishing pollinator habitat projects. Since 2014, 43,832 participants have planted 447 projects impacting 967 acres across 23 states.
- Sponsored hundreds of Milkweed in the Classroom kits to teach kids the importance of pollinators and wild places.
- Worked with departments of transportation and natural resources agencies to establish pollinator habitat on roadsides and rights-of way in states es like Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania
As summer comes full-on, wildflowers begin to blossom and wings get busy fluttering and buzzing and flushing in a celebration of life over the blooms.
Pollinator Week is June 21 – 27. Celebrate with them, and us. Watch this space for more content. Get excited about pollinators.
Tom Carpenter is editor at Pheasants Forever.
Do your part in helping provide quality habitat wherever you are by donating to put more habitat on the landscape and in your own yard! For a limited time, a $35 donation made through this special offer includes a pollinator habitat planting kit and a free membership!