Living in a nature sanctuary made up of birds, butterflies, the occasional black squirrel, and a few stray cats is a joy. Add to that the occasional skunk passing by and the coatamundi who hasn't returned since I had the tree limb cut off the big chinaberry tree. All are welcome.
Imagine my surprise last week when I noticed something different out of my "window on the world"in my living room. It was early morning. There it was.
Quickly, out came the Audubon Mexico book written and photographed by the local San Miguel Chapter.
There it was on page 10. A golden fronted woodpecker.
While taking time to look at all the other birds I see in the garden, it occurred to me that something has happened lately. MORE birds. It might be because of the time of the year. However, I also wonder if it is because all those eucalyptus and other large trees were cut down in the school yard behind me. Something is going on.
There are SO many birds that I can't even identify them all but here are a few more that I have within my walls.
Vermillion flycatchers are prolific. Everywhere. So easy to see. I think there is a nest somewhere in the garden as I see them darting around all the time.
My other favorite bird is Scott's Oriole. Not sure of the scientific name, but here is a photo of the bird.
Now, I'm not a birder per se. I don't go on hikes to see birds. I don't log in a book when I see a certain or unusual one. But, I sure do enjoy hearing them and seeing them.
In the garden, most of the trees and plants are there to attract birds and butterflies. Add to that the many sources of fresh water that I have placed around for nourishment. They definitely are attracted to water. I've never had a hummingbird feeder. Recently I received one. I'm somewhat reluctant to hang it up as I like the fact that the hummingbirds have plenty of nectar naturally.
The butterflies are also attracted to the water. When I was at Chinqua Sanctuary several years ago, I observed that as the butterflies began to fly out of the trees, they headed straight for the streams and any water they could find. An "aha moment" for me. Ever since then, I've had water spots in the garden for them.
Outside the walls of my sanctuary, closer to the lower canyon in the water are all kinds of ducks, ibis, egrets, stilts, and sandpipers. Coots, pintails, shovelers and teals add to the beauty. There there is the Eagle and swifts. A plethora (as some would say) of winged creatures.
The melodic sound of their singing in the morning is what awakens me. IF Velcro, the cat, is out there, there is such a racket that it isn't singing but alerting messages from one bird to the other and scolding. Very, very seldom does she ever come home with a bird. Usually it is small field mice. THAT is another story. YUK.
Recently there was an article in the Atencion newspaper, our local weekly paper, about setting up a butterfly sanctuary in San Miguel. I was surprised at the article as it appears the writer is not aware that many people raise and provide food for migrating butterflies and newbies. It started about 25 years ago in Houston and is ongoing there as well as all over the USA. I'm sure it is ongoing all over Mexico with certain planted material. Luckily, when I moved here much of the plant material was already here. I've just added to it with those plants that attract hummers, birds and butterflies.
I live in a natural paradise! Thanks to the woodpecker, I've taken time to think about that and to share this with you.
And, thanks to Audubon for their two small publications that were sold a few years ago with photos of all of these winged creatures so we can identify what we see. It's a great resource of information.
By the way, the publications are not copyrighted or anything, so I felt it was all right to use the images from the pamphlets.