Thursday, May 26, 2022

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Nectar Connectors campaign

Hi {First Name},

Let's check in on your reports of flowering in Nectar Connectors plants. Your observations of flowering times for select nectar species will help resource managers like the US Fish & Wildlife Service take necessary steps to conserve and promote habitat for important pollinators.

In this update, we will focus on what is happening with nectar connector plants in the Northeastern and Midwest regions, as we see an increase in your reports of flowers and open flowers.  

Photo: Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) in the phenological stage Open flowers and visited by bumblebees and a crab spider, credit Jim Hudgins/USFWS Midwest Region

What you are reporting on nectar plants

So far this year, you are reporting on Nectar Connectors species at 168 sites, up from 33 at the time of our last message. These sites represent those of 42 Local Phenology Programs. The top contributing Programs are  Mohonk Preserve in NY, Vassar College in NY, Earthwise Aware in MA, Oak Hill Phenology in WV, and Bayou Sauvage NWR in LA. We also have 117 backyard observers reporting on nectar species. Thank you all for your efforts!

The map below shows reports of the top three observed genera across the country - milkweeds, beebalms, and purple coneflowers. The icons represent the sites that have reported a "yes" for flowers for these genera so far this year. The color of the icons represent the first date that flowers was reported at each site. Icons with green outlines are reporting on more than one genus.

In the Northeastern U.S., your top-observed plants are common milkweed, cardinalflower, New England aster, Eastern purple coneflower, and swamp milkweed. The Activity Curve below shows your reports of open flowers in these species this year in the Northeast. Common milkweed and swamp milkweed have not yet been observed with open flowers this year. 

In the Midwest, your top-observed species are common milkweed, wild bergamot, Eastern purple coneflower, butterfly milkweed, and New England aster. The Activity Curve below shows your reports of open flowers in these species has been increasing in the Midwest. The common milkweed has not yet been observed with open flowers this year. 

Keep reporting on flowering of your nectar plants! In our next message, we check back in on your reports of flowering to see when the peak in open flowers occurred in regions across the country.

Earn your Nectar Connectors badge! You can earn this badge by observing a nectar species once a week for six separate weeks in the same year. See it on your Observation Deck. 

Thank you for your contributions to this important project!
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Samantha Brewer


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