Our City Our Neighborhood

Backyard birds

People love watching birds. If you’re ready to give this hobby a try, a good place to start is learning about the small birds you’re most likely to spot in your own backyard.

That’s what I did. Over the span of a couple of weeks, I kept records of the birds visiting my own yard’s bird-friendly attractions, such as: the rather wild grass lawn, bird bath, apple and cherry trees and the many flowering shrubs. So, what kind of birds showed up?

Every year a couple California Scrub-Jays nest in the backyard. For the longest time we thought them to be Blue Jays, until I started researching this article. Both the magnolia tree and laurel hedge have been called home by the jays. When not screaming at passing cats, or hopping around the grass, the Jays have been seen feasting from the apple- and cherry trees.

Northern Flicker

Another bird enjoying fresh fruit is the Northern Flicker. The only time I’ve seen them abandon a juicy apple was the imminent arrival of a neighborhood squirrel.

Often heard chittering away, or seen scouring the grass for bites, is the American Robin. 370 million of these iconic birds call North America home. They make for an easy spot in my backyard when the spring rains force earthworms up for a breather.

When the lavender, climbing roses or fruit trees bloom, these little racers come out in abundance. I’m talking about Hummingbirds, of course. When they are very loud, you might be witness to a territorial dispute, while the sound of a cricket could actually be one of these tiny birds singing their song.

All kinds of birds share our residential spaces. Learn how to identify them with the Audubon Society.

Backyard chickens and city wildlife

What happens when local wildlife meets backyard chickens?