Summer is fast approaching and many of you are observing flower buds and open flowers at your sites as spring wanes. It is a perfect time of year to be celebrating pollinator week, which is June 20-26. In celebration of pollinator week, we will be highlighting pollinator news and resources so that you can enjoy these beautiful and diverse species that are so important to the health and well-being of humans and ecosystems. 

If you are looking for pollinator week events and activities in your area, Pollinator.org has wonderful ideas and resources, including an interactive map of pollinator events. 

If you are not yet documenting pollinator observations at your site, now would be a great time to get started! There are several pollinator species available to observe, which you can add to your site under "Add or Edit Animals" in your observation deck. 

The work that you do to record the seasonal changes in plants and pollinators not only documents phenological changes, but the information you provide helps to conserve and protect the species you are observing. Thank you so much for your efforts.


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Special Feature: Creating Pollinator Habitats

Bee hotels help nesting pollinators

Mason (Osmia spp.) and leafcutter (Megachile spp.) bees are important pollinators for wildflowers and agricultural crops. Both of these groups are solitary bees that will build their nests in small holes that can be found in natural or human-made materials. You can provide nesting spaces for these bees by either purchasing a pre-made bee hotel, or creating one yourself. Placing a bee hotel at your home is an easy way to support pollinators, and you can add these genera to your observation deck to observe their phenophases throughout the year!

Learn more »


Photo: Rolf Dietrich Brecher via Flickr

Diversify your garden

The best thing that you can do to help pollinators is to provide habitat for them. Different types of pollinators are attracted to different colors and shapes of flowers. By planting a variety of native flowering plants, you can transform your yard into a habitat that can be beneficial to many different types of pollinators, and can even provide a refuge for pollinators traveling along their migration routes. Our Nectar Connectors campaign includes flowering plants that are important for migrating pollinators, and the National Wildlife Federation has an excellent tool that will identify native plants in your area that act as hosts for butterfly and moth caterpillars. 

Learn more »

Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Flickr

What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN

Help us reach 4 million records in 2022!

We have a beautiful new observation goal graphic, created by graphic designer Terry Moody, that will track the progress toward four million records recorded this year in Nature's Notebook! You can watch the monarch butterfly move through different phenophases throughout the year as your efforts reach new milestones.

See it here! »

Paid opportunity for teachers

Bring phenology to your classroom this Fall! We are seeking teachers from different grade levels from Kindergarten through Higher Ed to help revitalize our education program by testing phenology-focused lesson plans with your students. Participating teachers will attend a virtual workshop on July 23rd, carry out a phenology activity with students in August or September, and provide feedback via a second workshop September 24th. Teachers will receive a $500 stipend for their time and feedback. Deadline for applications is June 17th, 2022. 

Learn more and apply »

Time to Restore Project

We are looking for observers in the South Central region to participate in the Time to Restore: Connecting People, Plants, and Pollinators project. The data collected for this project will help groups working towards pollinator restoration better understand the flowering and seed timing for critical nectar plants, so that they can determine the most resilient restoration plantings in the face of climate change.

Learn more »

Recent happenings in the field of phenology

Eastern monarch populations hold steady

The eastern monarch count of their overwintering habitat in Mexico has been released, and results show that monarchs occupied 2.84 hectares of space in that area. This is a modest increase from the previous year, but a great deal of work is still needed to protect this species. Planting native milkweed is one of the best ways that you can help monarchs along their migration paths.

Learn more »

Photo: USFWS Midwest Region via Flickr

The great acceleration of plant phenological shifts

People have been recording phenology in some species for hundreds - even thousands - of years. These historical records have sufficient detail that scientists can compare these data to what we are seeing in phenology today. Scientists analyzed the timing of phenological events for several species that have been recorded through time and found that phenological shifts have been significantly accelerating since the 1980's. They noted how phenology is an important tool in communicating the importance of mitigating the effects of climate change.

Learn more »

Photo: US Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Nature's Notebook Nuggets
Making sense of flowers and fruits

A plant, even a small one, can have lots of activity occurring during the growing season. This visual complexity can make it difficult to understand when a phenophase has begun or ended. When observing for Nature’s Notebook, look only at the plant parts in the phenophase definition, and evaluate those individuals separately over the entire plant. With focus on the definition, it should be easier to determine whether any phenophase question deserves a "Yes" or a "No" response.

Learn more »

Photo: David Illig via Flickr (cropped)

More ways to get involved

Am I even a Bee?

Written by Dr. Felicity Muth and Illustrated by Alexa Lindauer, Am I Even a Bee? is the story of Osmia, a solitary bee, decidedly green and unquestionably un-fuzzy. Osmia has always believed she is a bee (her mom told her so), but recent run-ins with people, and even other insects, leave her wondering, “Am I even a bee?!” Confused, Osmia faces an identity crisis, and she turns to her meadow for comfort. In this beautiful story, Osmia discovers that while fame is great, diversity and acceptance are essential to a happy ecosystem.

Learn more »

Additional Pollinator Resources

If you would like more information on how to help pollinators in your area, the Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation offers region-specific resources to aid you in planning, establishing, and maintaining your pollinator habitat. Just click on your state and find regional planning guides, local plant and seed vendors, and pollinator identification guides. 

Learn more »


Samantha Brewer

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator



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