The Quarterly Community eNewsletter of Bird Town Pennsylvania
Summer 2022
Welcome to “Bird Beat”
Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Bird Beat,” the quarterly eNewsletter of Bird Town Pennsylvania. Bird Beat was conceived as a seasonal communication (summer, fall, winter and spring) for an audience of individuals who are working to use native plants in their properties for the birds, pollinators, and other beneficial creatures that enhance the ecosystems in which we all live. Many of you have received one or more forms of “habitat” recognition or certification from Audubon, the National Wildlife Federation, or other organizations.
“Bird Beat” is intended to provide timely tips for native plant enthusiasts like you along with links to resources, events, and ideas to engage your families, friends, and neighbors with the “wonders” that your native gardens, from container gardening, to full blown meadows, evoke. The theme for this edition of “Bird Beat” is Bugs for Birds! We hope you find this first edition of “Bird Beat” informative and valuable. Please share this newsletter with any folks you think would like to subscribe to future editions of the “Bird Beat.” We also note that you can “unsubscribe” from our mailing list if you elect not to receive future editions. We invite your comments and suggestions for future topics at

“Bugs” for Birds
Karen Campbell & Christine Du Bois

Summer is a peak time for insects. They are all around us in forest, field, and home. The abundance of insects and the longer periods of daylight have played a role in bird migration as an evolutionary benefit for migrants. Many species of birds endure the challenges of migration in order to spend their breeding cycle where long days and plentiful insect food for their young are a “reward” for the rigors of migration. Native plants are critical for the supply of insects as food so critical to birds. We often see the slogan, “Native Plants for Birds,” but that slogan can be more appropriately translated as “Native Plants for Insects!” Learn more at the links below:
“Why Bugs Matter for Birds
“Love Bugs/Love Birds”
Controlling the Spotted Lantern Fly
The Perils of Sticky Tape Traps
Karen Campbell

Summer is the time we hear about the need for all of us to help combat the invasion and stop the spread of the Spotted Lantern Fly. Property owners are encouraged to use different means to trap and kill all stages of this insect. There are a number of approaches that are effective alternatives to the “sticky traps” that encircle tree trunks in the yards of many folks. DO NOT USE STICKY TRAPS – they are a hazard to birds, bats, and other beneficial creatures. Learn more about the alternatives to sticky traps! Learn more at the links below.
Support Birds with No Glue Traps for Lanternflies
Article from Audubon
Do This! Not That!
Instead of Pesticides – Attract Pollinators and Parasitoids
Cindy Nuss

Bird Town Pennsylvania recommends that chemical pesticides be dramatically reduced or eliminated by property owners. These chemicals hold risks for beneficial insects and have secondary and tertiary effects to other creatures in the food chain – including people. Increased use of native plants in the landscape help reduce the need for chemical pest control. Native plants also help to bring birds and beneficial insects, like parasitoids, to our yards – these are natural predators that help to control other insect pests. These approaches help to restore ecologically friendly alternatives to pest control. Click here to learn more.
Sense of Wonder: Bird Beaks
Different Adaptations for Eating Bugs!!
Christine Du Bois

Birds’ beaks differ greatly depending on what they eat, but all beaks are strong while also remarkably light (flying creatures avoid hauling excess weight!). A beak is made of spongy bone inside, covered first by a thin layer of more solid bone, and then by a layer of hard keratin—the same material as our fingernails. The keratin repairs itself whenever the beak gets scratched. Beaks that attack bugs have all sorts of special features. Click here to learn more!

Pictured: Eastern phoebe showing off the bristles at the base of its beak. Used by permission from

Kid’s Corner: Bug Hunt
Christine Du Bois

Hey, families! Can you find these bugs? None stings or will hurt you. Enjoy them, and don’t worry if birds eat them. Birds need to eat too! If we leave plenty of plants around and don’t spray chemicals, new bugs will hatch. Look for cool info about each of these bugs!!! See if you can find three in a row, like a bug tic-tac-toe! Learn more about some of the more common insects that you can find in your yard. Click Here for your download!
When You Should – and Should Not –
Rescue Baby Birds
Summer is the breeding time for birds. Many species of birds will successfully raise one, two, or even three broods of birds during the spring and summer months. This brings young birds to our yards and parks as well as the dilemma of whether the “baby birds” need to be rescued. For the most part the best advice is to leave fledgling birds alone! There are circumstances where the decision to rescue may be appropriate. The National Audubon Society offers some guidance to help us when faced with the dilemma to “save” a baby bird.
Learn More Here:
Looking Ahead!

  • Pollinator Week is just around the corner – June 20 to 26,2022
  • Look for our Fall edition of “Bird Beat” in October with information on how you can help migrating birds and nature friendly ways to prepare your native plant gardens for winter.
  • Be sure to check our website for more resources:
  • Encourage others to sign-up to receive “Bird Beat,” our eNewsletter
EDITORS NOTE: We welcome suggestions and content for the Bird Town Bird Beat. Submissions can be sent to for consideration. Note that submissions will be accorded full consideration but do not ensure inclusion in the newsletter

President: Heidi Shiver
Vice President: Phil Witmer
Secretary: Janet Krevenas
Treasurer: Tom Price
Board Member: Steve Saffier
Liaison to PAAC: Leigh Altadonna