I heard a lot of bird chatter out back late this afternoon and went to the window to see if any birds were playing in the water. I took these pictures through the window (gonna have to wash them soon if this keeps up.) Across about 10 minutes I took over 100 pictures. I kept waiting, wondering how many birds would land on the rock at the same time.
I actually think there might have been more than eight on there at one time but I was so memorized watching them swoop in, race off, and swoop back that I forgot to grab the camera right away.
Okay, so just about an hour or so ago I posted about not thinking about Plant Kid.
Well I take it back. I take it all back. My brain is racing now.
This morning I read this lovely post by
who is one of the truly good people fighting the good fight to take care of injured/orphaned wildlife. I am inspired by her (and her husband’s) dedication to their 24/7 job. She spoke of finding room for “just one more bird” who needed a little bit of help. That bird was a cowbird which is just a very interesting creature that I had been reading about last week doing some research for Plant Kid. I had never heard of it before (just learning about birds) and I tucked the name away as an interesting fact that I could maybe use. Then I read mirtlemist’s post and got a bit excited again about maybe using the research.
Then I told myself to quit reading blogs, go get a new cup of chai and the get back to the ESL projects.
As is my way I go to the patio door at my office and look out and what should I see?
Cowbirds! Four of them. I have NEVER seen them in the yard before. Ever.
Oh it is going to be so hard to get through June. I hope my subconscious continues to do some work for me.
I love California native plants and the wildlife it feeds and serves. When we went looking for our home, we looked at places with big yards and it was easy to envision a native garden there. Alas, we couldn’t afford to buy those places so we ended up with a standard home in a standard neighborhood with a small yard (due to remodeling from the previous owners.) And not a single native plant in the yard. We took almost everything out of the yard, except for a Mayten tree in the front and large Japanese maple in the back. There is some lawn but it will go soon. We will begin to plant the yard in the fall but for now, the only activity in the yard comes from the birds who visit the feeders in the front and the back.
So here is my Friday Five – the Bird Edition
#1 Birds are good at waiting.
When I get home from work every day I am greeted by at least one Mourning Dove sitting on the fence and a few more on the ground near the driveway. I adore the Mourning Doves and am jealous that they are nesting in my neighbor’s yard and not mine but I know that will change when we get the yard in place.
Sometimes they majestically wait on the broken tip of the Mayten tree (which is coming out soon since it gives zero wildlife value and branches keep falling off in the storms) like this little House Finch.
Sometimes the Goldfinches want to wait a little closer to the action.
#2 Birds know how to make noise.
I am used to hearing the cooing and sounds of the doves, the scrub jays and the chittering of various other birds. But I was pleasantly surprised to see what I think is a Nuttall’s woodpecker visit our one tree in the front yard.
#3 If you feed them, they will come.
When I get home, the first thing I do is greet the dog and then we go out to feed the birds in the back and change the water. The doves are waiting there too.
So are the finches.
And this bird which may or may not be an orange-crowned warbler (feel free to correct me as I’m just learning) or maybe a wrentit, waiting in the Japanese maple.
And this bird which may or may not be the same one as above.
And these little guys, Pine Siskins I think.
Sometimes they get impatient and move very close to the window and then fly away as soon as I open the door.
And some visitors get really impatient and start to make a scene.
#4 Sometimes all you need is a good drink.
or with a friend.
Sometimes you just don’t want to swim in the deep end.
But sometimes you just just have to wait in line.
Lines are important because if you’re first in line, you get all the good stuff.
But if someone else gets there first you might have to wait.
And sometimes all you can do is climb in and claim the space as your own.
#4 When is a hole not a hole?
Can you see the hole in this dirt? For weeks I kept finding them all over the bare dirt in the yard and couldn’t figure out what was going on.
Until I realized that some of the birds preferred dust baths to the water kind.
Every day there I see three or four of them having fun in the dirt.
#5 Sun is good.
At the end of the day I can almost always count on a pair of doves hanging out on these two rocks until the sun goes down.
I get such pleasure out of the antics of these birds, it’s no wonder they have found their way into my current WIP.
And I can only imagine how many more interesting creatures we will be able to entice to the yard when, instead of having to feed them seed, we will have a yard full of native plants and flowers that will feed and house them.