About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cattails: A very useful plant

Cattails provide important food and cover for wildlife and have been used by people in a variety of ways.
Red-winged Blackbirds, and Marsh Wrens perch and build their nests on them. Waterfowl, such as Mallards and Canada Geese, nest among them. Frogs and salamanders lay their eggs in the water on and between them. Fish hide or nest among them. Many birds use the seed fluff to line their nests.
Muskrats use rhizomes for food and the foliage to build their houses. This then provides resting and nesting sites for water birds. Deer, raccoons, cottontails and turkeys use them as cover. Insects eat and live on them.

And all of the cattail is edible. Indigenous Peoples prepared the parts in many ways. The leaves were used for baskets, chair seats and mats. The fluffy seeds are used as insulation for pillows and coats, and glue can be made from the stems. The pollen can be used like flour and is sometimes used in fireworks. The silky down surrounding the seeds can be used to stuff life jackets and mattresses.

Source:  https://www.nature.org/
Related Articles:
How hummingbirds nest http://hummingbirds-nest.html
Photo Share: Marsh Wren http://marsh-wren.html
Summer is a good time to offer goldfinches nesting material. http://good-time-to-offer.html
Red-winged blackbird singing is a harbinger of spring http://red-winged-blackbird-singing.html

No comments: