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Oh, those wonderful birds

It just makes me so happy to see so many creatures thriving around the garden.

Our efforts to create habitat and plant food sources result in frequent visitors, including birds.

In the springtime and during most of the early summer months we listened to the strings of Northern mockingbird songs. Unmated males sang throughout the night. Now that everyone seems to have a mate and produced fledglings, no one is singing. Instead they are busy raising their young, chasing crows away from their nests.

The Northern mockingbird fledgling in the image above seems to favor the top branches of a crab apple tree. This seems to be the perfect spot to wait for mama to bring meals of berries and insects.

Brown-eyed bushtits are also frequent visitors, descending on the patio shrubs in groups of twelve or more.

Here two of the birds are picking at an undeveloped bud on a butterfly bush.

At first I wondered why the bushtits were pecking at these buds.

And then I remembered that the reason why some of the buds don't develop properly, if at all, is because of buddleia budworms, laid by a small brown moth that destroys butterfly bushes.

Hurrah, the bushtits are eating those worms!

Since it can be invasive, we keep the butterfly bush in a large container.

The blossoms are a good supplemental source of nectar for all butterflies and bees.

And now I see that the plant is a good food source for the birds, as well.

An Anna's hummingbird resting momentarily on a Meyer lemon tree branch.

Hummingbirds zoom across the patio all day, pausing to sip nectar from blossoms on salvia, cuphea, lavender and other plants. In the late afternoon they feed on insects on the lemon tree branches.

The bird bath provides refreshment and bathing opportunities.

Here a house finch female took sips of water before she decided to plunge into the bath.

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