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Conservators Annual Dinner Meeting
May 2, 2012

Douglas W. Tallamy:  "Bringing Nature Home "

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The keynote speaker was Dr. Douglas Tallamy, professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and author of the wonderful book "Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens."

In his book, Professor Tallamy reviews how the plant world is the crucial base that converts the sun's energy into food energy and how plant diversity supports insect diversity, which in turn supports the diversity of bird and other animal species.

We all know that bird food comes in bags and is cracked corn and sunflower seeds, right? You may have a different view if you treat yourself to reading Dr. Tallamy's book. The chapter that is titled "What Does Bird Food Look Like?" contains photo after photo of amazing native insects and their sometimes disgusting eggs and larvae. Those insects, he says, are crucial food for our native songbirds.

He studies the ability of insects to propagate on and to eat native and nonnative plants and explains why our important native insect species usually are not able to thrive (or even to survive) on nonnative plants. His tenet is that development, along with the common landscaping trap of pristine lawn plus ornamental shrubs, is destroying crucial habitat for insects. He argues that we must protect habitat and actively choose to landscape our yards with native plants that will sustain and save our insects, our birds, and our planet. Then, he provides helpful native plant lists for our region.

More information about his work can be found at his website,

News report on Village 14 blog

Conservators President Jane Sender and Professor Douglas W. Tallamy

Photo by Henry Finch


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