CONCORD— NH Audubon is organizing and facilitating a year-long webinar series titled, “Exploring Connections to and Stewardship of the Natural World.” This series is supported by a grant through the NH Humanities Council. Webinars will focus on Pollinator Conservation during May through July of 2021. Programs are free to the public, streamed via Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook Live. To learn more and sign up, visit https://www.nhaudubon.org/education/exploring-connections-series.
The series seeks to inspire involvement and engagement in the appreciation and stewardship of our natural world. Pollinator conservation will serve as a series of close focus programs that will allow participants to gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of pollinators and reflect on how this impacts stewardship and land use decisions.
Mon., May 3, 7:00-8:15 p.m.: Garden for Wildlife - Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife: Naturalist David Mizejewski shares how to create a beautiful garden or landscape that fits into the local ecosystem and supports birds, butterflies, bees and a whole host of other wonderful wildlife neighbors. David will discuss native plants, the four components of habitat and sustainable gardening. He’ll also share how you can achieve the National Wildlife Federation’s “Certified Wildlife Habitat” recognition for your garden space.
Tues., May 18, 7:00-8:15 p.m.: Flowering Trees and Shrubs for Pollinators and Wildlife: When gardeners think of designing a landscape for pollinators, they may imagine a colorful bed of herbaceous flowers. However, flowering trees and shrubs are essential parts of the habitat required to support a wide variety of pollinators and other wildlife species. Not only do they provide food, but they also offer year-round shelter and nesting places. In this presentation, you’ll learn about blooming trees and shrubs that provide both beauty and important habitat in the garden.
Tues., May 25, 7:00-8:15 p.m.: Pollinators 101: Who are "the pollinators"? Learn about the most common types of wild pollinators, their vital ecological role, and how we can profoundly impact the diversity of pollinators in our own yards and communities.
Tues., June 1, 7:00-8:15 p.m.: Native Bees of New England - their Diversity and Natural History: How many kinds of bees can you name: honey bees, bumblebees, sweat bees perhaps? Most people are familiar with our non-native honeybees and their role in pollinating commercial crops, but few are aware of the great diversity of native bees that we have in our region and the roles that they play in pollinating our indigenous plants. This program will explore the wild bees of our region, their diversity, beauty, fascinating life histories, and the importance of native bee conservation.
Tues., June 8, 7:00-8:15 p.m.: Native Predatory Wasps: Their Role as Pollinators and Beneficial Insects: Native bees and predatory wasps share the same lineage and also share many behaviors and habitat requirements. Predatory wasps feed their offspring invertebrates (insects and spiders) and bees diverged from this carnivorous diet to feed their offspring plant-based food (pollen and nectar). Flower-rich landscapes provide critical habitat for both adult bees and wasps because they each consume flower nectar. In addition, wasps need diverse, flower-rich landscapes to hunt for their prey. Heather will highlight many amazing natural history and biology facts about native wasps illustrating their nesting habitat, prey specificity, and the ecosystem services they provide – pest insect population control and pollination.
Tues., June 22, 7:00-8:15 p.m.: Appreciating our Nocturnal Pollinators: Impacts of Land Use on Moth Species in the Northeastern U.S.: Join us during Pollinator Week to learn more about the mysterious and diverse world of moths! They’re our (mostly) nocturnal neighbors that remain largely unseen but play a very important role as pollinators while supporting native bird and bat populations across the Northeast. Moth diversity has long been considered an indicator of habitat quality and emphasizes the importance of using various native plant, shrub and tree species in our cultivated landscapes and embracing habitat heterogeneity when making land use decisions. We’ll dive into the basics first, and then discuss recent studies involving moths and their implications, along with some ways that everyone can get involved. The methods and results of the author’s own thesis project (Moth Diversity in Managed Inland Pine Barrens and Heathlands of Massachusetts) will be discussed, including ways this study may help inform the future habitat management and restoration priorities of conservation organizations all across the Northeast.
Tues., July 20, 7:00-8:15 p.m.: Beecology: A Community Scientist Helping Pollinators: Dr. Robert Gegear will update participants on the decline of wild pollinators and the importance of collecting critical ecological information that is needed to develop effective conservation and restoration strategies for threatened pollinator species. The Beecology project was developed to recruit citizen scientists from across the region to digitally collect and submit ecological data on native pollinators. You will learn and practice data collection using the smartphone and web apps developed through this project. Participants will have the chance to use online visualization tools to collect data important for improving the quality of native pollinator habitats.