Western Bluebirds I think the two guys are wooing the female... taking her to the local watering hole / pub. She must be hot stuff!

Here’s my second installment of my “End Quote” featuring a favorite quote, poem, saying, story or something I found interesting or inspirational.  Of course , this musing MUST be accompanied by a few favorite photos of the week!

A Bird Came Down

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.

— Emily Dickinson

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to share with you some recent feathered visitors to our garden.  In fact, since 2011, we’ve spotted 5 new bird species here on the homestead.  After 25 years we are pretty excited spotting all these new species!    Of course, I am curious and can’t help but wonder,  “What brought these birds to the homestead?” Could it be because of the devastating Station Fire (largest fire in LA history)  which brought these birds into the inner city or is it “global weirding.”  No matter, these birds are such a joy to watch.

Do you readers have any thoughts on WHY so many new birds all of a sudden?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Now for some bird pics I took this week – enjoy!

Western Bluebirds & Cedar Waxwings

Western Bluebirds await their turn to visit the bird bath

Cedar Waxwing in the fig tree

A whole flock of Cedar Waxwings

Bathing beauties. Colorful finches have a pool party

Everyone gets a turn

Splish, splash just lovin' this bath

Oh no! Somebody is WATCHING us... humans!

Finches, Western Bluebirds & Cedar Waxwings all getting along.


  1. Melissa D. says:

    We’ve noticed that our Robins here in Ky either never left or are back 2 months early. I think it’s the mild winter we’re having.

  2. Mary Stephens says:

    Love the bird pictures! 🙂

  3. Sharon says:

    Beautiful pictures! My husband, an outdoor educator, and I are thinking (since there haven’t been any big, strange storms blowing birds off-track in this area) the new visitors are due to the loss of habitat in the fire. (Or maybe some strange dome secretly placed over Pasadena 😉 Nah!) Enjoy them while you’ve got them!

    By the way, if you haven’t read “The Big Year” by Mark Obmascik, you may want to give it a try. All about birding. They made a movie (Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black), but I can’t speak to that as I have not seen it.

    See you in the garden,

  4. Natalie V2 says:

    Lovely birds, and species new to our garden as well. Global weirding… that’s a good one… well, the expression is good, but the actual event is alarming!
    Timber Press asked me to share a post on their behalf… they are giving me a book in exchange. I mention this because I thought you might appreciate the contest they are hosting.

  5. Jill Pittman says:

    I loved the bird pictures. It seems like the same birds are at our homestead in N. Fla. except that we have the Eastern versions. I have been noticing finches of all types, cedar waxwings, warblers, and bluebirds. I few weeks ago my husband and I spotted a Baltimore Oriole at the suet feeder, which was unusual for this area. Whatever is causing the increase of visitors to our place, I am enjoying watching them.

  6. Heather :) :) :) says:

    Oh, I’m not sure why the new birds species are suddenly showing up in your backyard, but I’d call that a really cool gift 🙂 🙂 ..That and maybe one of the bird’s discovered the Eden in your backyard and told the other birds 🙂 🙂 We get lots of beautiful birds in my back yard too…they love to hang out in the trees 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  7. Sandra says:

    Beautiful pictures – we get the finches in our yard as well. Have you seen an wild parrots yet?

    We live west of you in Van Nuys and last year was the first year we saw them in our area. When we lived more north in Sunland/Tujunga we saw them quite often. Not sure what brought them to the neighborhood last year.

    I’ve heard that the wild parrots came from people who either on purpose or accident released their pet parrots and they mated and presto we have wild parrots in Southern California.

    We are also close to the Sepulveda Dam area so we see ducks and geese flying over – quite a sight.

  8. Ginger says:

    I love that poem. Your pictures are great. What sort of camera do you have.

  9. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, the global weirdness has left the midwest and normal winter temperatures have returned. Most folks would rather have the nice warm weather but the truth is that single digit temperatures are needed to keep things right. However, next week we will be back in the forties again.

    The only unusual bird activity here has been the urban wild turkey explosion. It seems that every where I go in the city there is a flock of turkeys. This has all happened in the last year. I have to wonder what’s up with that?

    Only 59 days until spring and counting. I’m really looking forward to the gardening this year.

    Have a great California day.

  10. Stacy~Creativemuse says:


    I have a Great book from my local books store. Birds of California ‘ Field Guide by Stan Tekiela. I had given it last year to my 4 children when I did 12 days of Christmas….4 calling birds. We have had so much fun checking our guide each season. So in that, I have found that these birds are in the right Zone! This area is their winter location for the Cedar Waxwing they travel location to location for food liking the blueberries of cedars, 1st years have mask 2nd years their red tips where the derive their name. The western blue bird is also in his home area for winter. The finches are all year round in California. I love this book it has helped us make so many identifications and loving the seasonal information just for California. We have some Hawks nesting in the Sycamore tree next door, for many years now. It isn’t a red tail so this past year my neighbor and my children have been trying to identify it. The only way we found out which on it was was due to it’s CALL this one is the only one singing THIS SONG and found that out on http://www.allaboutbirds.org on their bird guide its done by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Pretty fun and cool the are so great with the calls of the birds it really helps instead of reading the sound. SO be greatful they sing your praise to other birds and your Abundance flows! Our other neighbors cut down these great trees we have enjoyed seeing all the birds in and a reason we purchased our home so many years ago. I do have to say living with the hawk is kinda silly when we were new to Chickens we went on HAWK alert gathering them up from the free range time in the yard Seeing a 6 year old with two chickens under her arms running in her Wellies back to the coop. The Hawk,She sits with her young on the fence eyeing our girls each year. They are much bigger now but when we have chicks We will be on Hawk Alert detail! We are a home in suburbia like you.
    Stacy just up the coast from you

  11. Janice says:

    Here in West Covina, we used to have white egrets land and check out our pond (when we had one) to see if they can feed on the koi! We would see all these birds you shared with us as well, because we had a small river trickling into the pond. (This was also before we had a cat)

    I used to live in a house in Hacienda Heights with a pool, and we’d see grey herons drop by and ducks take a swim in the pool!

  12. elaine nieves says:

    Those pictures of all the birds visiting your backyard are wonderful! We have two bird feeders in our backyard which attract mostly goldfinches, house finches, towees and mourning doves. We also get hawks and crows because of our large pine trees. Do you have squirrels in your yard? This year they have taken to burying pinecones in the raised bed and even the potted plants. Does anyone know how to keep the out of the garden/bird feeder?

  13. PlateauGardener says:

    I saw an Anna Hummingbird just a few weeks ago here in the Pacific NW–they usually leave for winter, too. I agree with those who think ‘loss of habitat’, but (according to this week’s newspaper anyway) global weather change plays a big role. I’m enjoying our feathered friends here!

  14. c says:

    Here in Washington state we had a warm fall and the hummingbirds just stayed around so I left their feeder out. They have stayed around so far. I have only had a hummer feeder for a few years but they usually stop using it in the fall so I figure they leave the area.
    We also have a few new species of birds and bees (in the summer). I figure building destroys habitat and some species explode in an area and push others out to new areas or push themselves out to new areas looking for new food sources. I think you fire and wind storm may have been your triggers.

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