Garden of Harrison and Julie Tuttle
2213 Coley Forest Place
Raleigh, NC 27607
Tucked along a quiet street in Raleigh, the Tuttle home is a haven for birds. Resident birds such as Cardinals, Robins, and Bluebirds abound, with migrating birds remembering this excellent spring and autumn stop.
The focal point in creating this habitat was to provide an environment that mimicked nature, in an artistic way, providing food, water, cover, and nesting sites in a suburban environment. With just one noticeable feeder, placed to be viewed from inside the home, the food source focus is on the plants.
The sound of moving water also brings in the birds and other wildlife. Water is an important aspect when creating a habitat. The Tuttles have two water features at the edge of their property that are beautiful and functional as many species are found bathing frequently.
Doug Tallamy’s research assessed trees by the number of different types of caterpillars. Caterpillars are an important food source needed for birds to feed their young. Even most seed and fruit-eating birds will switch to soft-bodied insects during nesting times.
The Tuttles have many specimens of tree species that are known to host multiple kinds of caterpillars. For example, there are six species of maples that can support 287 kinds of caterpillars, 11 species of pine that support over 200 kinds of caterpillars. Furthermore, there are ten species of spruce, over 15 species of fir (yes, Abies, most grafted on Abies firma) and over six species of dogwood, all of which are known to support hundreds of types of caterpillars.
Each of these is at the top of the list. Quercus, Oak is the number one beneficial tree with 557 different types of caterpillars. While the Tuttles don’t have an oak tree, their adjoining neighbor does, supplementing food in the Tuttle abode.