EASTERN TOWHEE; photo credit; Terry W Johnson

        I am always trying to learn more about the wildlife and plants that live in my yard.  From time to time, in my quest for knowledge, I stumble across a link between one of my backyard neighbor’s link with historical figures, places or events.  Whenever I uncover such a link, it is like finding a precious gem.  One such recent discovery relates to the eastern towhee.

       In 1586, William White became the first European to see and illustrate the eastern towhee.  History tells us the reason why White was in North America was he came to serve as governor of Sir Walter Raleigh’s ill-fated colony located on Roanoke Island. By the time a ship carrying supplies to the colony in 1590, the 112-121 residents of the settlement had mysteriously vanished.

       Much later, in 1731, the artist and naturalist Mark Catesby named the bird towhee after hearing towhees give their familiar towhee call.

       Knowing this, whenever I now hear or see an eastern towhee, I will think about the bird’s odd brush with history.


       For quite some time now, I have been letting you know when somebody recommends a nursery that deals in native plants.  Here is a new one.

       At this year’s Fantasy of Flowers staged by the Fort Valley Garden Club, I met the folks that run Everyday Farm and Garden (Josh and Nikki Perry).  They were one of the vendors at this year’s event.  They were selling a variety of ornamental and wild plants.  They also sell plants that they say are neonicotinoid-free.   As you know there are not enough folks that can boast that their plants are free of these systemic pesticides.   This is great news for wild pollinators and other backyard neighbors.

       Here is the contact information for this retailer: 

Everyday Farm & Garden

1028 Macon Road,

Perry, Georgia 31069

Telephone numbers: 

478-256-2045 and 478-338-2821


        I cannot count the numbers of times people have told me that it is often difficult and frustrating to find information on how to deal with wildlife that appear to be in trouble.  In hopes of demystifying this process, here are two sources of information that you will find invaluable when you are faced with trying to come to the aid of a wild critter that appears to be injured, sick, or orphaned.

       Whenever you encounter such an animal the first thing you should do is to determine whether to animal actually needs assistance. The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division has an excellent site designed to help you safely make that important decision.  The address of the website is

       If you decide that the animal needs care, don’t attempt to provide it yourself.  Instead take it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You can find the roster of these dedicated men and women at a site entitled, Georgia Wildlife Rehabilitator List. It is located the following address:

       This site will provide you with a list of Georgia’s licensed wildlife rehabilitators and their contact information.  It is arranged by both county and the animals they treat (e.g. birds, raptors, deer, small mammals, and reptiles).

       Whatever you do, do not attempt to care for an animal yourself.  Since the majority of us are not trained to address their special needs, nor possess the facilities to house them, most of our attempts end with the animal dying.  In addition, it is against the law to house and treat wildlife without a permit.

       Additional information regarding dealing with these special animals can be obtained by calling 1-800-366-2661.