Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some critters don't like mulch.


Native burrowing bee hole.

In many places and for many plants mulch can make a big difference to maintaining moisture in the soil by reducing evaporation. However there are some insects and birds that don't appreciate mulch everywhere because they are burrowing animals that prefer bare sand to dig through. Mulch adds another degree of difficulty to their task of tunneling. The bee hole above is in our back garden. I know it has tunneled a fair way down as the yellow sand it has deposited on the surface is a few centimetres below the slightly improved top soil.
Rainbow bee-eaters (Merops ornatus) are a migratory bird that burrows nests into the side of sloped areas. It eats bees, wasps and dragonflies, caught in flight. It needs a deep soft bank to tunnel into and will sometimes use old mines.

3 comments:

Rose said...
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Sybil said...

Just learned recently about gardening in bales of straw. Thought if you were doing heavy mulching you might find it interesting. Can't wait to give it a try in spring. It's winter here in Canada so I've got a while to wait for spring ...