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Tag: backyard

Urban pollinators get almost all their food from backyard gardens

Urban pollinators get almost all their food from backyard gardens

Science
Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Which came first, the backyard garden or the backyard pollinator? Strictly speaking, pollinators have been around a lot longer, but a new study suggests a lot fewer urban pollinators would be around without residential gardens. Advertisement In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers in Britain determined just three home gardens can yield a teaspoon of nectar each day -- enough food to nourish thousands of bees. For the study, scientists used a fine glass tube to extract and measure the amount of nectar produced by flowers in the residential gardens of four major cities: Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading. Using a refractometer, scientists measured the nectar concentration in the nectar extracted from more than 3,000 individual flowers. "Although the quantity and diver...
To keep backyard animals safe from cats, offer more meat and play

To keep backyard animals safe from cats, offer more meat and play

Science
Feb. 11 (UPI) -- All grains and no play makes Garfield a hangry boy -- and it turns out, hangry cats are a greater threat to local wildlife. To keep small birds, mammals and reptiles safe from local cats, new research suggests caretakers offer their feline friends a diet rich in meat proteins and plenty of playtime. Advertisement According to the new study, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, play that mimics the act of hunting is especially helpful in quieting the predatory instincts of domestic cats. "While keeping cats indoors is the only sure-fire way to prevent hunting, some owners are worried about the welfare implications of restricting their cat's outdoor access," study co-author Robbie McDonald said in a news release. "Our study shows that -- using entirely non-in...
Bringing nature into your backyard

Bringing nature into your backyard

Science
Projects such as the High Line in New York have used industrial spaces to create wildlife havens in the heart of the city. It's a trend that's spreading around the world. So how can you connect with nature on your own patch of turf? Take inspiration from a forest gladeIt's a tiny slice of forest in an urban landscape. Hawthorn and crab apple trees provide a shady canopy over a collection of shrubs, wildflowers and grasses. The garden, London Glades, at the Hampton Court Flower Show, is designed to mimic the forest floor.Mounds of rotting wood and garden waste have been covered with topsoil to be more sustainable and echo the natural contours of the wild.Jon Davies of Future Gardens London says the garden sets out to explore a deeper relationship with nature. "One of the main things we're ...