Cities provide habitat for more plants and animals than you might think. Keep an eye out for these wild urban dwellers.
Two kinds of colorful, fuzzy silk moths flutter around in the wee hours of spring. Look for limegreen luna moths and large-spotted polyphemus (polly-fee-mus) moths around porch lights after midnight.
Peregrine (pair-uh-grin) falcons are the fastest birds in the sky. When diving to attack prey, falcons free fall at speeds over 200 mph. Pairs of peregrines regularly nest atop buildings in Kansas City and St. Louis.
At dusk, watch for bats hunting for insects under streetlights. The winged mammals may be mistaken for birds in low light, but a bat’s flight is far more fluttery.
On warm spring nights, listen for the musical, birdlike trill of the gray treefrog. Though hearing one is easy, seeing one is tough! The tiny frogs change color to blend in with their surroundings.
Watch a bumblebee long enough, and you might see it land on a flower and vibrate its wings to create a whining buzz. This behavior, called buzz pollination, helps the bee shake more pollen off of the flower.
A ruby-throated hummingbird’s wings normally flap about 50 times a second. But during highspeed maneuvers, they can beat up to 200 times a second!
All you need to welcome Missouri's smallest bird to your backyard is a hummingbird feeder. Fill it with a mixture of four parts water and one part sugar. In no time, the feisty flyers will zip in for a drink.
Redbud trees look lovely when they bloom in early April. They’re also good to eat. The hot-pink flowers taste sweet and nutty. Just watch out for bees while you’re nibbling away. They like redbuds, too.
If you find a nest of baby bunnies, leave them be! Although the mama rabbit may be nowhere to be found, rest assured she will return to take care of her babies.
When an American robin cocks its head to one side, it isn’t listening. It’s trying to get a better look at dinner — worms and other creepy-crawlies — sneaking through the grass.
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill