What’s in Your Yard?

What’s in Your Yard?

Pileated woodpecker photo by Keith JacksonMy wife and I are fortunate to live on a  patch of oak woodland in the foothills of Northern California.  Several years ago we decided to rid our yard of water-guzzling domestic fescue and replace it with gardens of drought tolerant native plants.  In doing so, you might say we put out the welcome mat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.  Documenting bird species that visit our yard has provided a special sense of pride and enjoyment.

If you offer enough nectar-producing flowers and your vegetation supports tiny flying insects, you really don’t need hummingbird feeders.  We maintain watering stations and a couple of hanging sunflower seed feeders, but that’s it—the rest is natural—we don’t have a pond—we never artificially feed deer or other mammals.

The following bird species have graced us with their presence:   wood duck, mallard, turkey vulture, sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper’s hawk, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, ferruginous hawk, kestrel, wild turkey (non-native), California quail, mourning dove, western screech owl, great-horned owl, black-chinned hummingbird, Anna’s hummingbird, rufous hummingbird, Lewis’s woodpecker, acorn woodpecker, Nuttall’s woodpecker, downy woodpecker, red-breasted sapsucker, red-shafted flicker, black phoebe, ash-throated flycatcher, tree swallow, Steller’s jay, scrub jay, yellow-billed magpie, common crow, oak titmouse, bushtit, white-breasted nuthatch, Bewick’s wren, house wren, ruby-crowned kinglet, western bluebird, hermit thrush, robin, varied thrush, mockingbird, yellow warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, Bell’s vireo, western tanager, evening grosbeak, black-headed grosbeak, spotted towhee, California towhee, chipping sparrow, golden-crowned sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, dark-eyed junco, Brewer’s blackbird, hooded oriole, Bullock’s oriole, house finch, lesser goldfinch and American goldfinch.

What’s in your yard?

I would like to thank Keith Jackson for allowing me to share his pileated woodpecker photo.   This fascinating mountain-dwelling bird has managed to skillfully elude my camera lens.

Steven Callan
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