Sydney Spotts

Sydney Spotts

Sydney is a blogger and content writer in the realms of nature, outdoor recreation, and sustainability. Her nerdiness shines on the topics of birds and bugs. Her love for birds was founded in high school academia, reinforced in undergraduate curricula where she received her degree in Zoology and Environmental Studies, and is currently sustained through photography and avid birdwatching. She has worked hands on with several native and exotic species in the field and out, including at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and abroad in Australia.

You can find her blog, Sycamore and Clay, at sycamoreandclay.com, where she writes to inspire and help people cultivate their own special connection with nature.


Backyard Bird Gardens: Plants and Landscaping Ideas to Attract More Birds

Backyard Bird Gardens: Plants and Landscaping Ideas to Attract More Birds People always talk about creating a garden that’s pollinator-friendly, you know, something suited for the bees and butterflies that’s full of colorful flowers.  But what about birds? I get it, it’s easy to associate flowers and gardens with insects. But in reality, birds like flowers, too! And not only are they excellent pollinators as well, they are really entertaining to watch!  What’s more, is they also are attracted to a wide variety of other plants! This allows you to create a really intricate garden of trees, flowers, shrubs, and other greenery for your feathered friends.  Get ready to learn all you need to know about building a bird-friendly garden that is inviting to several species! The Bird Garden Basics Just like everything else in the world, birds need the basics—food, shelter, water. These things make them feel safe and…

How to Keep Birds Off Your Porch

How to Keep Birds Off Your Porch There are few things worse than a build-up of bird poop splattered across your deck or porch. Walking outside to shoo them away is never permanent. They always come back, flaunting their feathered behinds to mock you.  Well, no more.  Today is the day you get the upper hand. Today is the day you become the ruler of your porch and take back what’s yours. No longer will you be the victim. They may have won all of the battles. But, you, my friend, will win the war.  Today you will learn heaps of tips and tricks to prevent birds from coming to your porch and how to make it unpleasant for them if they decide to take the chance anyway.  I know it’s been hard—constantly cleaning up bird poop is no easy task. But if you have persevered through that, you can…

Do Hummingbirds Sleep? If so, how?

Do Hummingbirds Sleep? If so, how? The only thing more cute than a little tiny animal is a little tiny animal that’s sleeping. I mean, COME ON! How could anyone argue with that?! What about the tiniest of tiny—say, hummingbirds? Those little cuties work so hard during the day, flapping and buzzing around. They’re really extraordinary little creatures. So how are they able to zip zing around every single day? How can they get so much energy in a night’s rest?  Everything you wanted to know about wee little hummingbirds and their sleeping habits is right here. And once you learn about the details, make sure to gawk at a few photos, because it’s AWESOME!  Hummingbird Energy Expenditure Hummers basically spend their entire day using up energy. They are constantly moving around, save for a few resting moments here and there. It’s hard to fathom how intensely their bodies are…

Baby Mourning Doves: Caring for and Feeding Abandoned Dove Babies

Baby Mourning Doves: Caring for and Feeding Abandoned Dove Babies You step outside to get the mail and you find a baby bird in your driveway—what do you do? Should you leave it, rescue it, try and put it back in its nest? It can be nerve-wracking finding a baby bird on the ground and wondering what the best option is, especially since not all species can be treated the same. Here are a few tips to prepare you for that day: Step 1: don’t panic  Step 2: read this article Here, you’ll learn all about baby Mourning Doves and how to care and feed them if they’re abandoned. It’ll be just a little more information in your pocket, should you ever be in this situation.  Let’s dive in! Baby Mourning Dove identification Baby Mourning Doves are called squabs or chicks.  When they are just hatchlings and a few days…

8 Species of Owls in Wisconsin (Pictures)

8 Species of Owls in Wisconsin (Pictures) Intro Owls have the reputation of being wise and elusive, the perfect companion to the Greek goddess, Athena. Their wide eyes and tranquil dispositions simultaneously project an aura of quiet curiosity and all-knowing. Being nocturnal and less commonly seen than their diurnal neighbors, these coveted creatures are a jewel to see in the birding world.  Catching sight of these night dwellers may be difficult, but not entirely impossible. In Wisconsin there are 8 species that can be found. Let’s learn a little bit about them! Owls in Wisconsin Long-eared Owl Length: 13.8 – 15.8 in Weight: 7.8 – 15.3 oz Wingspan: 35.4 – 39.4 in Color pattern: these long, lanky owls have beautiful brown and black patterning. Piercing, yellow eyes are situated between orange facial disks and two ear tufts stick up from the head.  When trying to hide, these owls stretch out…

The 5 Species of Blackbirds Found in Texas

The 5 Species of Blackbirds Found in Texas Blackbirds—the birds known for being hungry, noisy, bullies. Have you seen any?  You’ve probably watched them eyeballing your feeders and scaring your other colorful, little balls of music away (goodbye, cardinals.)  Maybe you’ve received an earful of angry “words” from one when you were too close to his proudly-defended territory—a territory that is remarkably similar in size to his ego. Maybe you have no idea what a blackbird is and just assume that a blackbird is a…black bird.  Let’s dive into the world of blackbirds and see what there is to learn about them, their personalities, and how to keep them away from the feeders we set out for the little guys.  Not all black birds are blackbirds It’s easy to assume that all black birds are related, but actual blackbirds belong to a family called Icteridae, along with grackles, orioles, cowbirds,…