At this time of year, the GNG is full of native insects and birds really take advantage of them. Nesting season for many species coincide with this bounty, assuring plenty of food for their young. In addition to those insects, mealworms are offered as a healthy, tasty treat. Below, a Song Sparrow has just fished-out a mealworm that was in a dish of bran. With so many mouths to feed, we can only assume that parent birds appreciate the handout!
It’s always fun getting a new yard bird and today’s was good one – the clown of the woodpecker family, an Acorn Woodpecker. This woodpecker can be found throughout California, but is a little out of place in the GNG. Being Oak Woodland dependent and social by nature (you normally find this species living in tight-knit groups), having a single male in the garden was definitely a treat. It seemed to be enjoying nectar provided by the silk oak flowers before being chased off by jealous ravens.
Beautiful moments can be found at anytime in your garden. While walking the GNG in the early evening recently, we came across this Pyrausta moth alight on a Ceanothus flower. Pyrausta moths are quite small, but this one stood-out because of its beautiful lavender pink color against the purple blossoms.
This cement birdhouse has been hanging in the GNG for almost 10 years with no takers. Well, this year the fortress has tenants. A pair of House Wrens is now busy at work filling the house with sticks to cradle their future family. It just goes to show that when it comes to experiencing wildlife, sometimes practicing patience is key.
This male Pterotus obscuripennis, a firefly (fireflies are actually beetles) found in California, does not emit light flashes like its eastern cousin - it is the female of this species who has light organs that can emit a luminescent glow. But she never goes through metamorphosis and retains a larval appearance all the way into adulthood. Californians always have to do things their own way…
This beautiful oriole blessed the GNG today and became the 3rd “First of the Season” Hooded Oriole to be officially accecpted in the Los Angeles area. He apparently was thinking about the Gottlieb Garden of Plenty over the winter and couldn’t wait to return!
A remote camera catches a favorite bird of Susan's at an interesting moment…
If you want Cedar Waxwings and American Robins to visit your yard, there is a magic, drought resistant native evergreen to plant in your yard – Heteromeles arbutifolia, or Toyon.
We couldn’t recommend it more…
This large weevil (over 1/2") gave itself away as it flew around the garden, possibly in search of its host plant Hesperoyucca whipplei, or Chaparral Yucca. Adults of this weevil species are usually out seeking mates between March and July, but with the unseasonal warm stretch of weather we’ve had it, along with other insects, has become active earlier than normal.