Patio birds in Walnut Creek--Rosita's garden


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Our neighborhood north of Walnut Creek has become one giant maternity ward this year. The Red-shouldered Hawks were evicted from Heather Farm Park this past winter when many eucalyptus trees were cut. They have moved to somewhere along the creek, either north or south of Treat Boulevard, but an adult will often sit at the top of a redwood tree near our house. For the past week the calling has started about 5:30 AM. I noticed several days ago that the bird sitting on the redwood tree was not a adult but an immature bird. Yesterday at 7 AM an adult and an immature were there at the same time.

In the last 3-5 weeks we have had fledgling Juncos, House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches. More recently we have had a fledgling California Towhee. The adult towhees no longer seem to be interested in the meal worms, nor is junior. Instead, they are all taken by a pair of House Sparrows, who must be feeding their brood. We are also seeing two Oak Titmouse adults come to the feeder quite often, indicating a nest may be nearby. Late yesterday afternoon we saw a fledgling Mourning Dove with an adult sitting on the cement of our patio. And we'll probably never know how many young the Anna's Hummingbirds might have supported from our feeder and flowers.

It may not be the Patton's or Spofford's yards in Arizona or even Harry Adamson's or Jean Richmond's locally, but at least we don't have to travel. My wife, Rosita, has done a very good job with the garden.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek