Tag: Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Berries

Northern Mockingbird

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.

Pretty as a Picture

Northern Mockingbird

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.