I need help identifying this bird. It’s been visiting our yard in the San Francisco East Bay for about a month now. At first, I thought it was an immature White-crowned Sparrow, but now I’m thinking it’s an immature Golden-crowned Sparrow. With Project FeederWatch coming up, I want to make sure I have the right ID. Thanks! Continue reading Backyard Birds: Golden-Crowned Sparrow?
Now that the weather is cooling down, the bird activity in our backyard seems to be picking up. Continue reading Backyard Birds: California Towhee
Hope you all had a great Halloween! Continue reading The Ninja
It rained during the night. My son found this feather in the backyard this morning and asked me to take a photo of it. Things are dry and calm now, but it will probably be raining for trick-or-treating tonight. Do ninjas wear rain coats? Continue reading Feather, Rain Drops, a Wet Halloween
Yesterday, I wrote about taking your child out on walk to look for signs of Autumn (Take a “Signs of Fall” Walk). I didn’t feel the seasons changing yet as I wrote the post, but decided to head out for a walk around our neighborhood with my 5-year-old after I wrote the article. Here’s what we found… Leaves just beginning to change colors. Baby 2-inch-long … Continue reading First Signs of Fall
I have to admit, I’m in love with the Dark-eyed Junco. Not only are these little birds gorgeous, but they do an incredible job of cleaning up all that birdseed the finches drop from the feeder. You may also enjoy… Finch Fun Continue reading My Love, the Dark-eyed Junco
Yesterday morning, my son was quietly building with his Lincoln Logs when he happily exclaimed, “Look, Mommy, a goldfinch! There’s a goldfinch at the feeder!” Now I had to run to the window to check it out, because I honestly can’t remember ever having any yellow birds in our backyard. My son was correct. Two goldfinches were quickly flying away! I thought this was cool … Continue reading Finch Fun
For at least eight summers now, we’ve had a pair mourning dove visiting our backyard. Every year, they have a child. Last year, my son and I were able to watch the parents teach the baby to fly. So cute! They showed up just a week ago with their child from this summer. I’m sad to say one of them (we think it’s the mother) … Continue reading Backyard Wildlife: Mourning Doves
Today was the first day of kindergarten. A major life event for my boy…. starting school. Sadness for me. Five years we’ve spent together, hardly ever being apart. I can’t think of a better way to start the day than running off some energy in the school playground. But then it was time for the children to enter the classroom and separate from the parents. … Continue reading Kindergarten…
It’s been a few months since I last posted about the squirrel who visits our backyard. He has not been successful at raiding the bird feeders since I last wrote, but he’s still thinking about it! Here’s my post from May … Backyard Wildlife… The Squirrel Continue reading Update… Backyard Squirrel
We have a new bird visiting our yard this week. And it’s a pretty one… a female Black-Headed Grosbeak. Apparently this bird has a beautiful voice. I hope to hear it one of these days! *** Related: Attract Wildlife to Your Home – Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Continue reading Backyard Wildlife: Black-Headed Grosbeak
I’m currently reading the book, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World, by Jon Young, which is about awakening our awareness of the behavior of birds in order to deepen our connection with all the wildlife surrounding us. Ultimately, the author is helping us to reconnect with our own animal senses, teaching us to be one with wildlife instead … Continue reading Connect with Nature: Find Your Sit Spot
The best way for me to relax and unwind is to head out the front door for a walk with my camera. Here are a few photos from my walk earlier this week. I wasn’t able to capture any images with my camera, but the highlight of this walk was while I was in the oak forest up the canyon. A Cooper’s Hawk glided silently … Continue reading A Walk Around the Neighborhood
We enjoyed a lovely visit with my mom this weekend. A few photos from our walks around the yard… Continue reading Plums, Pomegranates, Play, and More!
The California Towhee family has been hanging out in our backyard for months and months, but I’ve been struggling to capture a photograph of the little guys. They like to hop around on the ground, eating the seeds the other birds have knocked out of the feeder. This is also the bird who ate all the flowers off of our rosemary bush (which is why … Continue reading The California Towhee
Early yesterday morning, while waiting for the water for my tea to boil, my son brought me to wakefulness by loudly exclaiming… “THE COYOTE! THE COYOTE! MOMMY! GET THE CAMERA! IT’S THE COYOTE!” I had to move fast… Here are my pre-caffeine photos of the coyote hunting for his breakfast on the hill behind our home… You may also enjoy… The Baby Deer Backyard Wildlife… … Continue reading Another Favorite… The Coyote
This is the backyard of my childhood home. These are the places I played as a child, building forts, climbing trees, scaling mountains, running from dinosaurs, becoming a world explorer, digging like an archaeologist, wading in the creek, catching crawdads, watching frogs lay eggs, and observing the development of pollywogs. This was the play of a child falling in love with nature. Are you a … Continue reading My Childhood Play… My Love of Nature
My five-year-old son has a new hobby. Bird watching. About a week or so ago, once a day, he began telling me, “I’m going into the backyard to watch the birds.” Then he’ll proceed to sit quietly, completely still for 20-30 minutes, waiting for birds to appear. Well, a few days ago, he excitedly ran into the house screaming, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy… there’s a … Continue reading My Little Birder… Loving the Chickadee!
A favorite rainy day activity… head outside to look for snails! My son calls them his “snail buddies”. What we found yesterday during a rare June rain shower…. Continue reading Search for Snails
It’s been more than a week since we’ve seen our resident turkeys. I don’t know where they go over the summer, but I know they’ll return in the fall! They always do. A pair, on the hill… The one who visits us on our fence each day in the spring and fall… My son and I will look forward to seeing them again in October! Continue reading Farewell, Turkeys!
We have a new favorite animal to watch from the dining room table while eating our breakfast… a baby deer who walks across the hill at least once a day with his mom. My son loves the big nose! Related articles Backyard Wildlife… Baby Jay (anaturemom.com) Continue reading The Baby Deer
The baby scrub jay is leaving the nest more frequently, testing his wings… so cute. Every time the baby “screeches” for food, he puffs up and flaps his wings. And here’s mom (or dad)… Related articles Backyard Wildlife… Scrub Jay (anaturemom.com) Bring Wildlife to Your Home – Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (anaturemom.com) Continue reading Backyard Wildlife… Baby Jay
We’ve had this one bird feeder in the backyard for almost two years now, without any problems with squirrels. But that changed this week. We now have a small red squirrel who visits us daily, cleans up the seeds dropped on the ground by the birds, and has, unfortunately, begun to raid the bird feeder itself. He’s actually figured out how to raid both of … Continue reading Backyard Wildlife… The Squirrel
This little bird is my son’s favorite visitor. He says the bird has “cool creature powers,” as the bird can jump along vertically up our back fence. I believe this is an oak titmouse. All I know is it’s cute, and my son loves it. Also, I’m looking for some suggestions. For bird identification, I’m currently using the 1988 version of the Western Birds Audubon … Continue reading The Little Brown Bird
I’ve finally figured out who is living in the nest high up in our oak tree. I can hear the babies chirping, but I haven’t been able to spot the parent bird feeding them. But I’ve finally had success! It’s a scrub jay family. I should have known.. the birds are so territorial, but I thought that was just their bullying nature. The baby was … Continue reading Backyard Wildlife… Scrub Jay
Multiple times a day, ever since my four-year-old son could talk, he exclaims, “Mommy, look! Mommy, look! There’s a deer on the hill!!” Of course, he won’t let up until I take a look. Today, his shouts were slightly different. “Mommy, look! Mommy, look! A teenage boy deer on the hill!!” Here’s what my son spotted Saturday morning, while we were sitting at the dining … Continue reading “Mommy, look! A deer on the hill!!”
After tons of research, I finally decided what to plant in our yard to attract butterflies. As you may know, we’ve been creating a backyard wildlife habit, following the guidelines set forth by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). My first goal in creating our butterfly garden was to add plants to our yard that will provide nectar. Several varieties of Salvia (commonly known as sage) … Continue reading Bring on the Butterflies…
The grasses on the hill behind our home are beginning to dry out. That means it’s weed abatement time. We live in fire country, and it’s required that all flammable and combustible growth within thirty feet of our home must be removed each spring. I completely understand the necessity of this requirement, but it makes me sad each year to see the grasses on the … Continue reading The Hill Before Weed Abatement
I enjoyed getting out for some much-needed solo-time in nature today. I didn’t feel like driving anywhere, so I simply hiked into the hills behind our home. Bliss! And I had fun playing with my camera… Dublin Hills Regional Park Continue reading Solo Hike, Dublin Hills Regional Park
At this time of year (Spring), the turkeys are all over around here. We hear them when we go on hikes, we see them when we’re driving around, and we hear them from our home. We have one, though, who visits us each day. She jumps (can we call it flying?) up onto our backyard fence. My son says she’s saying “hello.” She’s been visiting … Continue reading Turkey on the Fence