I think buildings would look much more inviting if they had birds as gargoyles! I know it defeats the purpose, but isn’t this adorable?!?
Just a Little Punk
This was my first Phainopepla. I was struck how elegant the bird was, but it had just a little bit of spunk. I mean, look at the mohawk. 🙂
I love Northern Mockingbirds. They remind me of growing up in the South. It’s so common that it’s the state bird of five US states (Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida).
I always love to sing a melody to them to see if they will ‘mock’ it back to me. I’ve found it works best when you have one or two people. I think that they get stage fright otherwise.
A female Belted Kingfisher hangs out looking for fish to dive in and grab. I guess it’s the bird equivalent to our Drive-Ins.
Pretty as a Picture
I feel like every Christmas card ever made with a bird on it has a bright red cardinal on a snow-covered branch eating bright red berries. This frustrates me because clearly we don’t get any of these in San Diego (cardinals or snow)… but I was surprised to find that we actually get some red berries here.
I don’t normally bird much during the winter. Partly because of the cold (I’m a whimp) and partly the birds here are boring during that time (little migration happens so all the birds I’ll see I can see from the comfort of my warm house looking out into my backyard)… so I never noticed that we get red berries. Apparently, we have a lot of them called Heteromeles arbutifolia or as it’s also known as “Christmas Berry.” I have to admit, I feel a little silly that I never paid much attention to the native plants in San Diego.
I’m currently in the process of redoing the Buena Vista Audubon’s website (phase 1 is up in case you want to check it out, we’ll be adding more resources overtime) so I’m spending a lot of time there… so I’m learning quite a bit about native plant species. I wish I had known more before we xeriscaped our yard because I would have included more of them! There are quite a few that are really pretty. If you are in Oceanside, you should stop by the Nature Center and check out the native plant garden there.
This Western Scrub Jay is obviously SO proud of the Corn Nut it found on the ground. He was just flying around showing it off to all of us. I guess even birds like junk food every now and again.
Berries on the Bushes
When you see a tree full of House Finches, it looks just like it’s covered in big berries.