They are all out there in the garden. I hear them in the trees and shrubs, foraging in the garden, or in the bird bath. But when it comes to photographing these winter visitors, it's all a matter of timing and luck. I took these photos of the yellow rumped warbler and white throated sparrow through a glass sliding door. It would be almost impossible to catch the images outdoors because these birds would probably not hang out around the patio if they saw me. The yellow-rumped
Several Ruby-crowned kinglets are back for their annual visit. These birds are common in forests throughout Canada and the northwestern United States, during summer months. It's always a delight to spot them hopping around our backyard and patio. You can see that the kinglet above is literally hopping along the fence. This photo was taken through a glass sliding door, when I first noticed the kinglet. Note its red crown that looks like a red patch on its head. When they get e
I don't have a telescope to work with, so this is the best shot I have of the current Jupiter and Saturn conjunction. What matters most, I feel, is to have been able to experience this rare event. Just think, this last occurred 800 years ago! While observing the two planets last night from our front porch, an owl hooted from a nearby tree in my neighbor's yard. I first thought I was imagining the owl sounds, but it continued to hoot for a while until it decided to fly away. S
During a day of steady, soft rainfall, birds were out and about foraging in the nature patch of the garden. I observed twelve white-crowned sparrows hopping around the garden, picking through dried grass, twigs and ground cover. They seemed to be finding treasures, probably worms, grubs and insects brought up to the surface by the constant rainfall. The photos were taken through our window. Three of the sparrows are very busy foraging. This sparrow is checking the rain before
This weekend we were blessed with soft, steady rain showers. And all the plants looked refreshed, having waited for a month for rain. Drops of water hung onto the tips of twigs on the abutilon shrub. The raindrops transformed the dried California figwort branches and blossoms into otherworldly beaded necklaces. We hope that the rainy weather continues, to help ease the drought.
UC Santa Cruz scientist observations about the golden-crowned sparrow are reported in the Fall issue of the Bay Nature magazine. Apparently, these sparrows, as well as other sparrows, tend to return to the same shrub or at least the same yard every fall, where they remain through the winter. They forage with other birds with whom they are familiar. https://baynature.org/article/the-song-of-fall/ I've noticed that the golden-crowned sparrows in our garden often forage in the c
Wow! I almost missed this one yesterday evening. Five minutes after I took this sunset photo from our front door, the sky was mostly gray, with just a streak of pale orange behind the Marin Headlands in the distance.
The Hummingbird Hill Native Plant Nursery took these photos with a macro lens to show how important it is to leave native plants standing throughout the winter. The nursery reminds us: DON'T cut down the dried stalks of native plants in your garden because insects that you attracted during the warm summer months will use the stalks as winter homes. They use these stalks as larvae, eggs, or adults. The holes the insects make are generally unnoticeable without a macro lens, bec