Sunday, November 8, 2015

Poison Ivy

I spent a couple beautiful cool and clear hours on Lake Creek Trail this morning, leisurely covering the half mile between the Braes Valley parking lot and the footbridge. Winter birds continue to return, with Yellow-rumped Warblers being the most numerous. Some newly returning sparrows were Chipping Sparrows, a Field Sparrow, and an unexpected White-crowned Sparrow.

That half-mile of trail is loaded with Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicals). I often point it out to folks I pass since many people are allergic to it and don't know how to recognize it. (If you are allergic, besides learning how to recognize it I also recommend not petting any dogs you encounter on the trail. I've seen folks let their dogs dive into patches of Poison Ivy with abandon.) But it's also important to recognize that it's a valuable native plant. It's a significant component of the low dense cover which is such important habitat for birds on the trail. And in the winter its berries are an important food source for them. This morning I got these two photos of a Yellow-rumped Warbler eating a Poison Ivy berry:

Yellow-rumped Warbler eating Poison Ivy Berries - 1

Yellow-rumped Warbler eating Poison Ivy Berries - 2

Here are a few more photos from this morning.

And here's my complete bird list.


Ren said...

Thanks for the reminder and great photo. A useful photo to point to in my quest to get people to appreciate poison ivy.

katina said...

Oh poison ivy. I haven't had a reaction to it yet (knock on wood), but I've got coworkers who are so allergic to it that I have to still pay attention to where I walk just so I don't get covered in it and then transfer to it to them.