|Male Bullocks Oriole|
We tend to put birds into categories based mainly upon their diet:
- Birds of prey (hawks and owls) get a totally positive rating for their service eating varmints.
- Insectivores and seed eaters (various flycatchers, doves, goldfinches, quail, robins and hummingbirds) get a positive rating for eating insects or seeds and mostly avoiding orchard fruit.
|A barn owl peeks out of his home|
|Seven young barn owls in their nest box|
Now we enjoy the comforting sounds of barn owls at night year-round, knowing they are on the job keeping rodent pests in check. You can see more of our owl photos in this post.
Besides barn owls, great horned owls, screech owls, and burrowing owls inhabit the neighborhood. And a variety of hawks take over varmint hunting duties during the day.
|A male bluebird sits outside a nest box|
|A bluebird enjoys a drink from the birdbath|
As we have encouraged beneficial birds with nest boxes, bird baths and a diversity of food sources, we've noticed an increase in their numbers compared to pest birds. But we still have plenty of fruit eaters that require elaborate bird scare contraptions during harvest season - more on that when the time comes. In the meantime we're just enjoying the sights and sounds of our feathered friends.
|A goldfinch frolics in the bath|
|A dove sits patiently in her nest|