Birds

Red-Tailed Hawk

A relatively-rare visitor to the Sunnyvale garden is the red-tailed hawk. The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a bird of prey. In my garden, it tries to feed on doves and finches. One moment, your seed-feeder has attracted a lot of birds. Suddenly they all take off. Next moment is the swoosh of the hawk.

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Mourning Doves

Mourning Doves are a wonderful visitor to your garden. The males sing the distinctive song. The doves tend to mate for life. I have seen the young doves fed from the crops of the parents. The doves are very sloppy nest builders: A few sticks; a few inches; eh, fine enough.

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Birds

My garden has over a dozen species of visiting birds. Anna’s hummingbirds – If you add a hummingbird-feeder, you will have them year-round Lesser Gold-finches – they like the small niger seed House Finches (aka Rose finches) – they like the small niger seed plus larger seeds up to sunflower size Oregon juncos Chestnut-backed Chickadees Bewick Wren Scrub Blue Jays …

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Oak Titmouse

As plain as a bird can be, marked only by a short crest, the Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) nonetheless has personality. Pairs or family parties travel about the woods together, exploring the twigs for insects and calling to each other frequently. Before Sunnyvale was Sunnyvale, the community was known as Encinal, the spanish word for Coast Live Oak. There are …

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Nuttall’s Woodpecker

California’s oak woodlands are the place to look for Nuttall’s Woodpeckers. If you find an oak tree in California, even in suburban areas, there’s a chance that a Nuttall’s Woodpecker will be around. These small woodpeckers don’t just forage on trunks and branches, they also forage on tiny stems in willows and alders where they might look more like a …

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Anna’s Hummingbird

anna's hummingbird at feeder

In our Sunnyvale garden, there is always one, and only one, dominant male hummingbird. He tries to keep every other hummingbird away from the feeder with one exception: During breeding season, the male allows some females to feed. tbd

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Meet the new boss

This is our male hummingbird. He ferociously defends his feeder against all…except this time of year when he welcomes females to sip nectar. Then he will sit nearby bobbing his head and making some chirps (or at least that is what the high-frequency-hearing-enabled people tell me)

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Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

If you’ve been hearing an endless string of 10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a Northern Mockingbird in your yard. These slender-bodied gray birds pour all their color into their personalities. They sing almost endlessly, even sometimes at night, and they flagrantly harass birds that intrude on their territories, flying slowly around them or …

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American Crow

Crows

The Crow is a very common bird in the neighborhood but rarely appears in my backyard. The most likely reason is that the crow has decided there is not enough room to evaluate threats and escape. We often see crows in the cypress trees in a neighbor’s yard. American Crows are familiar over much of the continent: large, intelligent, all-black …

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