Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Western Bluebirds are Moving to Town!

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana), one of a pair of Western Bluebirds living in a large Ficas macrophylla in Balboa Park (talk about adaptation to foreign introductions!). Perhaps the fig berries or the plentiful tree cavities among the ficus roots proved to be an enticing home. Perhaps the insects attracted by the fallen fig berries were the main feature.  In either case, these beatiful birds of the foothills normally nest in tree cavities made by woodpeckers; in pre-human Southern California, they were therefore restricted to the foothills where the arid sage scrub gave way to pine forest. However, the extensive planting of large trees in urban areas has resulted in an urban migration of these beautiful birds. You can attract them to your yard by providing bluebird nestboxes and a source of water. Berry-bearing bushes/trees such as Toyon berries help too.

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