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Buckthorn and other invasive species make bad bird habitat - Minneapolis Star Tribune

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A cedar waxwing shares a buckthorn berry with his potential mate.
The cedar waxwing in the photograph is giving his intended mate a courtship gift, a buckthorn berry. I suppose you could say the berry is synonymous with an engagement ring.


In this case, however, she’s not getting a diamond. She’s getting cut glass. Worse yet, the gift probably will give her diarrhea. Bad start on his part.


Birds eat the very abundant berries. They are a “fairly good source of carbohydrates,” according to John A. Litvaitis, professor of wildlife ecology at the University of New Hampshire.


But, he wrote in an e-mail, there are ornithologists who consider the berries junk food because they have a low fat content. That would make them poor food for chicks or a pre-migration diet.


View the full article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune

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