|Redbud in native Nebraska habitat|
For the last year I have been doing a completely un-scientific observation of my redbud. In the spring it is a favorite of honey bees. I can hear the hum from inside my place. It is super sensitive to 2-4 D damage. Curled leaves are a common sight in spring. Mostly I am fascinated by the observation that it is LOVED by birds. I’ve hardly seen any birds in the pear trees, except for a Flicker that passed through last summer, stopping on the large, decaying Pear that is now gone. However the redbud, from dawn to dusk, brims with life. Chickadees, Juncos, Cardinals, Bluejays, Downy Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Morning Doves, and an array of sparrow species. I’ve even sighted a goldfinch in the tree and twice a hawk. These feathered friends spend a lot of time there eating the seeds, picking off insects, and jubilantly carry on. I’m sure that it is not JUST because it is a red bud. There are some dense shrubs near it, some wayward mulberry and elm saplings nearby, and a beautiful hummus and leaf filled bed below. Now I have feeders up, and the birds have ventured onto my balcony, giving my two cats and I quite a bit of entertainment. Perhaps more than anything my year of observation has put Eastern Redbud higher on the list of trees to plant in the beneficial landscape.