Bird Bath Placement

 A few years ago I attended a seminar about techniques to attract birds to the garden.  (Techniques other than planting Aloes.) 
Orange Crowned Warbler at Aloe ferox
The lecturer described how song birds approach a bird bath or another water source in stages.  Birds want the water source to have considerable clear space around it, with a number of trees, shrubs, and other perches nearby.  They fly from one perch to another from several angles, checking for predators  When they feel the area is safe, then they fly to the water.  
Open space + various nearby perches (indicated by the arrows).  Water source at far left:
One of the hopes for the recently installed fountain was to create this situation to attract birds.  Lately, it has proven to be a correct placement, as several times I've spotted birds taking baths and drinking from the fountain.  Yesterday,  finally, a photo! 
Spinus psaltria, Lesser Goldfinch!
 Happy with that.  Birds need habitat.  In gardening activity, rose pruning continued means...
...more pruning bouquets.   'Geranium Red'...
 ...and the ever-wonderful 'Belindas Dream':
The big climber 'Laguna' needs to be pruned next.  It has a solitary flower in a vast tangle of canes.  Must have been the recent rain.
 In non-rose blooming, day-glo orange Leucospermum 'Tango' has opened a little more.  I'm enjoying its every development just in case.  Unfortunately the plant has a lot of yellow foliage.   Time to apply some soil sulfur, perhaps?  Or is 'Tango' just...Not Happy?  I would hate to lose this plant after just one year and this first real display of wowza! winter flowers. 
 At any rate, happy about the birds. When walking back and forth working in the garden, it seems like there are no birds around.  Sitting quietly for a few minutes, they return, bringing their own life and beauty.

Comments

  1. The orange crowned warbler looks for all the world like our greenfinches, certainly from this angle. Lovely. I'll observe our birds more closely from now on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I looked up greenfinches, and yes, remarkably similar! If I am ever lucky enough to visit the UK again, I'll be able to ID.

      Delete
  2. I love that moment when you discover that all the thought you've put into something like bird bath placement has met with actual success. It's a good feeling. We have a lot of crows that make a racket when I'm out there working. I'm never sure if they're just calling to each other with plans for the evening or complaining about me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those moments are somewhat few, but they are a little triumph. I remember when the tall shrub I placed to screen out the neighbor's bathroom window finally did what was intended--after two previous failures--that was a delight!

      One of the neighbors would go and scare the crows out of her yard so much they finally stayed away. That was impressive!

      Delete
  3. My birds are wary of movement too - I get the best photos from inside the house but even then I need to approach the windows with great stealth. Did you get any rain yesterday? All we got was a tiny bit of spit and the winds are blowing strong today. At least the view of the harbor is clear for a change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About 5 raindrops, which was 4 raindrops more than I expected. At least there's no follow-up Santa Ana event, and no heat wave!

      Delete
    2. Your fountain is so popular--I wonder if mine will ever approach that level of activity.

      Delete
    3. For what it's worth, I've noticed that my fountain gets far more traffic when the bird feeders are full. The feeders, the mimosa (which provides a safe perch) and the fountain provide a comfortable triangle for my avian visitors.

      Delete
  4. Those bird photos are superb, as is the leucospermum. We have to learn to understand the needs of the critters, don't we, if we want wildlife gardens? That sounds like it was a very useful seminar. I went to a similar one a couple of years ago. They talked about how to attract small birds that get intimidated by the larger 'bully birds'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are your "bully birds"? Here it is crows. The towhees battle other towhees for territory but seem to ignore other species. The hummers of course battle each other also.

      Delete
  5. I love birds in the garden but they are so hard to photograph, at least to me! I am considering to buy a bird bath but I haven't seen any like the ones I like. Once again your roses enrapture me: the red one reminds me of my mother's favourite rose, the hybrid tea "Traviata".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birds are hard to photograph, that is for sure. I take 20 pictures for every one that is (mostly) in focus.

      I used to have 'Traviata', that is a good one!

      Delete
  6. I bet after the birds discover your bubbler they will be regular customers. It looks perfectly placed. The 'TangoP is a gorgeous flower. I hope it is just having a winter pout. Maybe making that big beautiful bloom just takes a lot out of it. Your roses are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know enough about Leucospermums to know what is going on with 'Tango'. The 'Yellow Bird' has grown like a weed and hasn't been the least bit touchy. 'Tango' is quite different--earlier bloom, different foliage.

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed the roses!

      Delete
  7. I can't really grow leucospermums (although I'm experimenting with two), but my grevilleas are prone to chlorosis. Sulfur helps but it takes a while to work its way into the soil. I was told that at the Ruth Bancroft Garden they apply iron chelate dissolved in water. They use Sprint 330 by BASF. It's fairly expensive, but I found a cheaper alternative: https://www.pestrong.com/1358-sa50-10-iron-chelated-sprint-330-5-lb.html. I just started using it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. hmm maybe I need to trim back the trees at the birdbath a bit more. I was thinking of perches more than visibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sat and watched the songbirds going to the water, and observed how constantly they are checking the sky and their surroundings, looking, looking after every sip of water. They are nature's little meaty snacks for all sorts of predators, and they know it.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Popular Posts