Feeding Nature at the Arboretum

by Sheldon Bloom

After a pleasant, immersive walk through the tall, overreaching pines in the arboretum to a rustic cabin in the woods, Troy University recently students worked together to make feeders for local wildlife. 

Students gathered last Thursday at the Troy Arboretum’s wooded nature cabin to make various feeders for local fauna. Students in attendance were also treated to an informative speech given by members of the Troy Naturalist Club, the hosts of the event, on the importance of a bird’s diet. 

Officers of the Troy Naturalist Club decided to host a bird-feeding event to help raise awareness for the club, all while providing a service for local wildlife.

“I think this event is a great introduction opportunity to what our club is all about,” said Rose Horn, a graduate environmental and biological sciences student from Foreman, Arkansas. “It can be difficult to feel like you’re really contributing to conservation, so it’s nice to have an opportunity to do some hands-on activities that actually demonstrate your contribution to local wildlife.”

Maintaining the preservation of wildlife can be difficult at times, which is why the Naturalist Club decided to host the event this time of year. 

“Feeders help birds get nutrient-dense food, which can be difficult for them in the wintertime because plants aren’t growing nearly as much,” said Perri Haga, a graduate environmental and biological sciences student from Columbus, Ohio, who also serves as the president of the Naturalist Club. “It can really help them get that little bit of a boost they might need to survive through the winter.” 

Veterans of the club also warned that birds might not be immediately drawn to the newly placed food source, as birds are creatures of routine.  

“One of the up-and-coming studies shows that birds are actually really social with extremely sophisticated communication networks,” said Haga. “It might take up to a month or so until they notice that the new food source is continual, but when they do, they’ll share the news that a sweet new restaurant just dropped.” 

The Troy Naturalist Club also announced it is selling t-shirts to raise funds for its many upcoming projects.

“At the moment, our club is fundraising to get the funds to buy some equipment that the arboretum needs,” said Kiarra Dock, a senior biomedical science major from Mobile, Alabama. “We really want to properly preserve the land as well as make it more accessible for others so that more students will use it.” 

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