Birds of SoCal

Here in SoCal it’s pretty warm during the day, bugs are out and about and these noisy little birds snapped them out of the air right in front of me. It was daylong entertainment, at least half a dozen birds catching flies and (I think) termites in mid-flight.

Black Phoebe

Scratching on the ground, a few California Towhees make my garden their home. They love their reflection and tap at the window or anywhere they can see themselves.

This was a peaceful first weekend of 2021.

Leaves of Birds

Since the ash tree endured its yearly abscission, I raked fallen leaves for the very last time and have been enjoying this disrobed version until late afternoon when I noticed the branches were once again full; not of leaves, but of dozens of happy, chirpy little birds adorning every space.

So completely adorable.

One by one, they flew away, and the tree was once again barren.

To A Mockingbird

He sat for the longest time on a volunteer Brazilian peppertree. The original tree was removed because it’s an invasive species, but also resilient and obnoxious, an aggressive woody weed which displaces native vegetation and rapidly invades disturbed sites.

To A Mocking Bird

The name thou wearest does thee grievous wrong;
No mimic thou: that voice is thine alone.
The poets sing but strains of Shakespeare’s song;
The birds, but notes of thine imperial own.– Henry Jerome Stockard

#WordlessWednesday

Hungry?

Just a hungry scrub jay hanging out on the deck. They LOVE raw peanuts. I still find a few empty shells hidden in the garden nine years later..

One of my favorite photos from September 2011.

First there was one, then another, and for a while, there were about four jays who hung out and let me hand feed them.

Did you know that scrub jays are very intelligent?

From Wiki: Recent research has suggested that western scrub jays, along with several other corvids, are among the most intelligent of animals. The brain-to-body mass ratio of adult scrub jays rivals that of chimpanzees and cetaceans, and is dwarfed only by that of humans. Scrub jays are also the only non-primate or non-dolphin shown to plan ahead for the future (known as metacognition), which was previously thought of as a uniquely human trait Other studies have shown that they can remember locations of over 200 food caches, as well as the food item in each cache and its rate of decay. To protect their caches from pilfering conspecifics, scrub jays will choose locations out of sight of their competitors, or re-cache caches once they are alone, suggesting that they can take into account the perspective of others. According to new research from the University of California @ Davis, scrub jays also summon others to screech over the body of a dead jay. The birds’ cacophonous “funerals” can last for up to half an hour.

#ThrowbackThursday 

One Tree: Two Hawks

From 2017 for #throwbackthursday

It was a great day to spend time in my garden with these two hawks. Do you know what they were looking at? Me, taking photos of them.

“The Sparrow” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I love this little bird. It really seems like he likes to follow me around so I started to follow him and snap pics everywhere he hopped.  A special little friend for sure.

The Sparrow

A little bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Ten taps upon my window–pane,
And chirps again, and hops along,
To call my notice to its song;
But I work on, nor heed its lay,
Till, in neglect, it flies away.
So birds of peace and hope and love
Come fluttering earthward from above,
To settle on life’s window–sills,
And ease our load of earthly ills;
But we, in traffic’s rush and din
Too deep engaged to let them in,
With deadened heart and sense plod on,
Nor know our loss till they are gone.
Paul Laurence Dunbar – 1872-1906

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Home Sweet Home

In quarantine? Isolation? Distancing?

Happy to have a home to go home to, no matter what it looks like, that’s the message I’m getting from this little bird, being grateful for what we have.

Every spring, for years and years, this dedicated vireo mom builds and rebuilds her home in my garden. If I count them all up, I’ve been grandma to approximately one hundred babies.

As you can see, her home looks a bit shabby. It really needs to be repainted and I attempted to fix the bottom with string because it was starting to fall apart. I’m not much of a handyman (woman) but it’s OK for now.

vireo May 2020 3

Going home

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Checking out the view

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Breakfast is ready!

Three Little Birds

This is one of my absolute favorite Bob Marley tunes, check out the video below.

“Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

You know how sometimes you hear a song that’s the perfect song for how you’re feeling, and whether it’s a coincidence or a sign or a message, you feel its uplifting energy? That’s this one.

This is my mantra for today: “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

And then I took my camera outside to see what beauty nature could inspire me to feel gratitude and peace and this lovely little brown bird followed me around for a while.

“This is my message to you.”

Got it. Message received loud and clear. Breathe.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Update: Yummy Hummy Mummy; an egg appears!

April 26, 2020

Hummingbirds typically lay two eggs; jellybean ovals of white porcelain perfection, and so far I see the first one!

To give you a size comparison, most hummingbird nests are 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter, roughly the size of a ping pong ball.

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