Last year, we installed a reclaimed orchard birdhouse in Ben Nobleman Park. Our goal was to attract insect-eating birds to our orchard like Eastern Bluebirds or Tree Swallows. These birds eat thousands of insects each year, preventing the pesky ones from nibbling on the leaves and fruit of our fruit trees. Having a birdhouse in our orchard park seemed like a win-win situation. These birds get a safe home where they can lay their eggs and wait for them to hatch. And we get a free pest control team in our orchard!
This year we finally have a new bird family in our orchard, but funnily enough, these little creatures were not born in our new birdhouse. They are baby Robins, born in a nest in one of Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard’s plum trees and their mother chirps warnings from a nearby tree as curious visitors approach the nest. The baby birds are still in a vulnerable phase. They can’t yet fly and they rely on their mother to bring them worms to eat. Anyway, it’s a pleasure to peek at them from a distance until the little birds are old enough to fly out of their nest.
Other updates from the orchard? Our apple trees are doing well this year. Some of the younger ones are growing in leaps and bounds, showing that they are getting enough nutrition from the soil they are planted in. The cherries from our cherry trees disappeared again this year. The trees were stripped clean. There is a new walking path through our orchard park due to construction on the busy street to the north of the park and the path passes by our cherry trees, so we hope that passers by nibbled on the cherries as they ripened. We’re keeping an eye on our plum trees as one of them has shown signed of gummosis. This disease can be a big problem as you will learn from UrbanFruitTree.com’s soon to be posted “Preventing Pests and Disease in Your Fruit Trees” workshop.
In the meantime, let’s hope our new bird family stays safe and we also hope that next year a family of Eastern Bluebirds or Tree Swallows find our birdhouse! To make sure you stay updated, sign up for our joint mailing list with urbanfruittree.com by clicking here.