Saturday, January 3. 2009
We have been nurturing some live oaks in our front yard, waiting for them to get large enough that we can cut down our last eucalyptus. (We need the shade or we'd have cut it already.) We also planted some oaks and the jays planted some acorns below our house and some of them are growing. So we will someday have a small grove of live oaks along one side of the house.
In answer to my "plant it and they will come" philosophy, we had a Nuttall's woodpecker visit our yard yesterday. This is the first one we've seen. No telling if this was his first or a return visit, but it was nice to see him. We've read that they prefer oak woodlands. In a few more years maybe we'll see them regularly.
Wednesday, April 9. 2008
After I posted my pollinator photos I received a message from Margaret Fillius saying she had just taken some similar photos yesterday. Here are her photos and her comments. Thanks, Margaret!
Cute little guy!
A fly of some sort?
Do aphids pollinate?
Yes, a harvester ant.
What kind of pollinators will these hairy guys become? These were, I
Didn't see this one actually pollinate
Tuesday, June 19. 2007
Much has been written recently about the sudden and rapid decline of songbirds. Here are some examples:good article showing the kind of subtle problems which non-native plants can bring with them. It's from Canada, but similar subtleties exist everywhere. One bush is not interchangable with another bush.
Most of these are from more northern locations. Now go look at a songbird species range map. (Here is a range map for the Tree swallow.) You will notice that the breeding range is usually huge, often covering half of the continent, while the wintering range is much smaller. That means an entire continent's worth of birds must live for half the year in a relatively smaller area. Arguably, if you remove an acre of winter habitat, that could be the equivalent of removing 5 or 10 acres of breeding habitat.
Southern California is important as breeding range for many birds, but is wintering range for a great many more. San Diego county is one of the premier birding spots in the country because of this year-round concentration of birds. That makes it vitally important that we keep as much of our natural habitat intact as possible.
The chaparral is the predominant habitat in southern California. The more of it that we can retain and restore, the better it will be for our declining songbirds.
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