Gilford Public Library

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Nature Corner

by Wendy Oellers-Fulmer, 5/23/2023

Since 1966, Bobolink populations have decreased 56% mainly due to loss of habitat, which are meadows and hayfields, as these birds nest on the ground. Bobolinks have one of the longest migrations of any songbird, traveling about 12,500 miles round-trip every year to their wintering grounds in South America.


I have been observing several pairs over the years. Last year, two of the main fields here in Gilford were clear-cut due to homes being built. One field was hayed the day after I observed a nesting pair.....unfortunately the nest didn't make it.


I was delighted this week to see that the one field still left had a pair of bobolinks nesting. These beautiful birds have melodic songs, that once heard, cannot be forgotten.


"To improve the Bobolink’s prospects, people can maintain its breeding habitat by mowing fields after nestlings have fledged and managing natural prairies through prescribed burning."No mow May is one initiative that can help nesting birds.


For more information:

Bobolink Life History

We Can Make a Difference

by Wendy Oellers-Fulmer, 5/16/2023


“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

– Robert Swan, Author


Gilford has an active recycling program. Recycling reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and incinerators. It helps to conserve our natural resources like minerals, timber and water. Recycling also helps to prevent pollution and reduce greenhouse gases which are emitted during the process of mining raw materials. To learn more about it, click here.


Have you noticed, now that the snow has gone, the repulsive amount of trash on the sides of our roads? To address this, the Department of Public Works has blue bags available for concerned citizens who want to make a difference. Once your bag is full, just tie it up and leave it on the side of the road. The DPW crew will pick them up.


You can pick blue bags up at: 55 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford, Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds Are Returning to New England. How Can We Help?

by Wendy Oellers-Fulmer, 5/2/2023


For birders and gardeners in New Hampshire, the sight of a returning hummingbird is one of the delights of late spring and summer. These tiny fliers have traveled thousands of miles from where they winter over in Mexico and Central America.

While hummingbirds get the majority of their nutrition from the nectar of flowers, sap from trees, and tiny insects, spiders, and mites, having a hummingbird feeder can supplement their diet, especially when there aren’t many blooming flowers available.


But to keep a feeder a healthy source for these agile fliers, experts recommend that we need to be responsible in maintaining a clean, bacteria free source. Tragically, dirty feeders can propagate bacterial infections, causing hummingbirds tongues to swell up, leading to starvation and death. But there are steps we can take.

  1. Create your own hummingbird solutions: 1:4 refined sugar to water. (1/4 cup white sugar to one cup water). Boil the solution, then let it cool down in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before filling feeder. Even though hummingbirds are attracted to red, do not add red dye to your mixture as these chemicals can cause problems for the birds.
  2. Keep the feeders clean: Especially during hot days when the feeder should be emptied and cleaned twice per week. If the water looks cloudy, or has debris or insects in it, it's time to clean it. If the feeders are being emptied quickly, clean them every time you refill with the solution.
  3. Keep an eye on the weather: If the weather is cool, once per week is enough. You can clean all the parts of the feeder with hot water or a weak solution of vinegar. Do not use dish soap!



For more information:

Frequently asked questions about feeding hummingbirds

How to clean your feeder


On the Road Again

by Wendy Oellers-Fulmer 4/25/2023


There are 12 different species of salamanders in NH, who have spent the winters in hibernation. One of the most common, yet most elusive, is the spotted salamander who is the largest at up to 9 inches in length.


Its bright yellow spots against the dark coloration is distinctive, but it will be a challenge to discover them as most of their lives are spent hidden under the ground, leaves, logs or rocks. The best chance to see them is on warm rainy nights in Spring as they emerge and head to vernal pools to breed and lay eggs. This annual migration also posses a significant threat when they cross roadways from their woodland habitats to reach their breeding grounds.


Conservation groups will sometimes create an event where volunteers gather to help these little amphibians make fit safely across our roads. We can help by being mindful when we are out and about on rainy nights this time of year.



To learn more about this annual phenomenon:

Spotted Salamander

Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)

Salamanders of New Hampshire

Earth Day on April 22 - We Can Make A Difference

by Wendy Oellers-Fulmer 4/18/2023

Currently, more than a billion people celebrate Earth Day to protect the planet from destruction, deforestation and pollution. Earth Day encourages us to do our part with specific activities to make our world a happier, healthier place to live.


Here are some suggestions:


  1. Become a waste warrior - Did you know that a plastic bottle can take as long as 450 years to break down? Before we automatically throw something away, we can think about whether it can by recycled or repurposed. Thinking about what we buy can also influence the amount of stuff we ultimately throw away.
  2. Plant a tree - It is estimated that approximately 15 billion trees in the world are cut down each year. Trees are vital in their roles of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They also provide shelter and food for animals.
  3. Turn off the lights - Electricity has to be produced from things around us such as coal, natural gas and oil that all contribute to climate change. Being cognizant of when we really need the lights on and turning them off when we don’t can help our use of electricity.
  4. Watch your water usage - Did you know that less than one percent of the water on Earth can be used by humans? (The rest is either too salty or too difficult to access.) Something as easy as turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save up to 8 gallons of water a day.
  5. Reuse your bags - One reusable bag can prevent the use of 600 plastic bags.
  6. Recycle your cans - Recycling a can of soda can save enough energy to power a TV for three hours
  7. Shut down your computer - Cuts energy use by 85 percent.
  8. Walk and/or ride a bike - For every mile we walk, we keep a pound of pollution out of the air.   


To learn about Earth Day's History and more ways you can make a difference:

Earth Day Every Day

History of Earth Day