Even late into June, many bird species are still feeding young, some on their second or third broods. The mealworm feeders are kept well stocked as appreciative parents collect food for their young. Six species visit the mealworm feeders regularly, including the elusive Wrentit. This remarkably sedentary bird spends its entire adult life in an area measuring just over an acre. Having a Wrentit reside within the GNG is really quite extraordinary!
A California native, the nocturnal Dusky-footed Woodrat lives in dense vegetation, preferably in oak woodland habitat. To build their nest, they collect and accumulate sticks, leaves, bark or any available small object. Over time these nest-piles can become quite eclectic and grow very large in size – hence the name packrat.
Many insects take advantage of the GNG pond. Not only is this dragonfly taking advantage of the pond's eco-system, it’s doing so by hunting the very insects that the pond attracts. Taking its size into account, nothing on earth can out-perform a dragonfly’s phenomenal aerial capabilities!
Managing bees in the GNG is a constant issue. Although European Honey Bees are an important crop plant pollinator, they are as their name implies “non-native”. Our native bees (which for the most part are solitary, not social) have evolved to pollinate our native plants and play and extremely important roll in preserving the diversity of local flora. The GNG is trying to find a balance in which the European Honey Bee is allowed to thrive, but not allowed to out-compete our native solitary bees.
Dark-eyed Juncos are active breeders in the GNG and are not shy as they move about the area. Here a junco surveys the grounds from one of the many trail cameras used to automatically capture the garden’s abundan wildlife.
Bushtits are social birds that travel in flocks for most of the year. During breeding season they break-up into smaller groups and will sometimes cooperatively nest. It’s clear by this video just how social this bird really is!
For the last couple of months, adult Great Horned Owls have been seen regularly in the garden and we were convinced that a nest was in the area. Although the nest site was never found, three fledglings were recently observed begging for food. Here mom, still damp from the morning mist, roosts in the GNG with her fledglings near-by.
Mule Deer are common throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, this buck and doe were caught walking a trail at the bottom of the property.
Black-headed Grosbeaks are neotropical migrants that begin to arrive in late March. Once here, they quickly stake out their breeding territories by singing from high perches. Black-headed Grosbeaks are dimorphic, so this bathing female has very different looking plumage than her male counterpart.
Some bird species can be very protective of their personal space. This female Hooded Oriole lets a male House Finch know whose bath time it is!