Cooper’s Hawk

A juvenile cooper’s hawk recently stepped into our birdbath.   https://youtu.be/6YXhTKHQmgk   This was the first time since the trail cameras were installed that we had a sighting on film. We had already seen one fly into the oleander hedge and swiftly emerge with something in its talons. I’d never seen a raptor in a birdbath.Continue reading “Cooper’s Hawk”

Great Horned Owls

After dusk this week, I heard great horned owls calling.  Year-round residents of the United States, they begin their days after sunset.   Turn your volume way up to hear the call of the great horned owl and a juvenile calling to a parent. The Ojai Raptor Center very kindly provided information about the second, higher pitched call.Continue reading “Great Horned Owls”

Female (Audubon’s) Yellow-rumped Warbler

Spotted on a bird-of-paradise blossom, this sparrow-sized bird is a year-round resident of Southern California. Cornell University’s All About Birds website indicates that Yellow-rumped Warblers eat insects and berries. Their stout beaks probe for insects and pick berries from stems. In fact, the species’ appetite for berries “when no insects are available enables them toContinue reading “Female (Audubon’s) Yellow-rumped Warbler”

White-crowned Sparrows

Winter residents in the southern two-thirds of the United States, white-crowned sparrows are easy to spot with distinct black and white stripes on the heads of the males.Here’s a male demonstrating “double-scratch” foraging  as described by John P. Dunning in The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior 2001 edition (page 524).They’re spotted on theContinue reading “White-crowned Sparrows”

Spotted Towhees

A very sporty looking member of the bird world, the Spotted Towhee is easy to notice with its colorful plumage. Click here to watch a singing member of this species: https://youtu.be/tupEPvqkmGo In The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior, “New World Sparrows” author John B. Dunning Jr. advises that they are seed eaters and insectContinue reading “Spotted Towhees”

Marbled Godwits

Marbled Godwits are among the birds that autumn’s migration has brought to Zuma Beach. Having spent the summer breeding in shortgrass prairies and eating insects, earthworms and freshwater fare, they now forage for small fish and seaside invertebrates.   All About Birds indicates that the bills of Marbled Godwits change color depending on the season; just now theyContinue reading “Marbled Godwits”

American Crows Eat Prickly Pears

To our astonishment, spines of the prickly pear do not deter our neighborhood American Crows from eating the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. Who knew this was a source of sustenance for them? Moreover, might the crows’ digestion of the fruit disperse the seeds to start new plantings? We marveled at how they couldContinue reading “American Crows Eat Prickly Pears”

California Scrub Jay

A frequent birdbath visitor is the California Scrub Jay. In the corvid family, this species appears fond of emitting calls while bathing. Slightly smaller than the American Robin, these western Los Angeles County California Scrub Jays enjoy multiple visits to the bath over several minutes. If you have bird observations from your garden which you’dContinue reading “California Scrub Jay”

California Towhee sightings

Almost every day since putting out our birdbath, California Towhees have visited. We rarely see them drink the water. Bathing is their top priority and we enjoy their antics. After splashing, they fly to the soil for dust bathing. The California chapter of the National Audubon Society published a profile on bird behaviors. Dust bathingContinue reading “California Towhee sightings”