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Pheasants Forever provides bee habitat

Pheasants Forever, a non-profit conservation organization founded in Minnesota in 1982, promotes “the protection and enhancement of pheasants, quail and other wildlife populations” through its 27,000 members and 75 chapters. According to its website, www.minnesotapf.org , Pheasants Forever has completed projects that affect more than 242,000 acres of wildlife habitat.

In a recent press release, Pheasants Forever explained how pheasants and quail have habitat requirements similar to pollinators such as wild bees, honey bees, butterflies, and beetles. By creating and preserving habitat for these birds, they have also been expanding the habitat for wild pollinators. It works like this:

During the spring and summer months, flowering plants are important for game bird survival because the young chicks depend on them for two things: ground cover to protect them from avian predators and a ready supply of insects for food. The insects, in turn, are dependent on the flowering plants for nesting habitat and a supply of nectar and pollen. Both the birds and the insects require profuse flowering plant species from April through October.

By creating habitat suitable for game birds, the organization is helping wild pollinator populations to thrive. Pete Berthelsen, a senior field biologist for Pheasants Forever says, “As a hunter, pollinator habitat will put more birds in my game vest. As an American consumer, pollinators are critical to the price of food and even our ability as a nation to produce food. It’s honestly difficult to overestimate the importance of addressing pollinator habitat immediately.”

The organization’s website has plenty of information about game bird habitat, ecology, and predators. You can also order food plot seed—different mixtures of seed designed to support the needs of game birds, deer, and other wildlife.

Rusty

Pheasant chick in the undergrowth. Flickr photo by Alistair Young.

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