Snapping up nesting materials

Funny thing has happened here on the urban homestead! With the recent shacking up of two scrub jays to raised their brood in one of the pineapple guava trees the mocking bird, who last year stole many a flower (potential fruit), is no where to be seen.   The scrub jays are notorious in defending their nest — we have our very own watch birds!  That means don’t have to worry about bird netting not to mention more pineapple guava fruit this year!

Pineapple guava blossoms

Scrub jay wonders "Do ya'll have any worms?"

What sorts of wildlife are you seeing in your and how you coexisting?


  1. Suseon says:

    We have an old Box Elder tree that the woodpeckers have made numerous holes in making a little apartment building for other birds to nest in. This year we have a pair of chickadees in an “upstairs” apartment and a pair of Grackles down below. The Grackles nest is so low and large I can peek in and see all the babies with their mouths wide open! I enjoy watching the two different tenants interact as well. They argue a lot mostly about which branches belong to whom but they all work together whenever a stray cat comes around!

  2. Jenana says:

    As a homeowner of a house in a new suburban development, I’m sad to report we don’t have much of anything living close by. It’s so bizarre as even an urbanite I had my share of squirrels, raccoons, various types of birds.

    I’ve recently planted the beginnings of a butterfly/hummingbird garden known to my 4 year old as the “Secret” Garden. This was planted as a response to the influx of monarchs I saw a few weeks ago. Since then, I have seen more and more butterflies each day: blue ones, black ones, yellow ones (now I need a guide book!). I look forward to helping, in a small way, to bring the wildlife back to my area.

  3. Jill says:

    We have seen SO much wildlife in our backyard this spring we are considering calling ourselves a sanctuary:)! We have a half acre on a semi-rural area in Nashville, TN. After our terrible flood earlier this month, we now are hosting a mama groundhog and her three babies (they nest under our shed), a couple of chipmunks, one fox, and scads of bunnies and squirrels. Our bird population has exploded to include two(!) great horned owls, cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, chickadees, hawks, etc., etc. Except for the hummingbirds which migrate in the winter, all the rest of the birds are permanent residents. We feed them and plant flowers to sustain them in the summer. I believe the word has gone out in the animal kingdom that we are wildlife-friendly, since our neighbors just don’t report the fauna that we do. We DO have to invest in a lot of chicken-wire for the garden!!

  4. Chris says:

    Wild bunnies, everywhere! Usually a family nests on the neighbors lot and the babies come over and much along base of ornamental perennials on the periphery of the yard (carpet roses being a fave) along with echinecea, etc. Sometimes their with Mom or Dad bun and just hang sunning themselves while I might be working on the planters on the patio. Also, robins, blue jays, blackbirds, baltimore orioles, chipmunks, squirrels, noisy crow family (that waits in the birdbath and crows loudly at me when the birdbath needs to be filled) and the occasional skunk. I’m in a popular tourist area on just .25 acre lot so it’s quite amusing to see Mother Nature’s cast of character frolicking about or just passing through. On a perfect day, we might see a Great Blue Heron fly over or an osprey. We are very blessed to witness their antics!

  5. Casey says:

    I live close to a river in southwest florida and my neighborhood has been designated a bird sanctuary. Most of the seabirds fly over my yard on their way to a small lake for their evening roost. Roseate spoonbills, great herons, ibis and white pelicans…all beautiful, but they do not affect our garden. Our regular visitors are the black crows who steal blueberries from our new plants, bunnies who chew on my seedlings and ate my blackberries and okinawa spinach to stubs (they came back). I once watched a beautiful black racer (snake) not so gracefully climb down one of my bean trellises after hunting lizards. My garden is new and I’m still learning, so for the time being, I just plant extra to accomodate, since we don’t rely on the garden to fully feed us. My only real issue is with bobcats, racoons and red shouldered hawks. I’ve lost 3 of my pet chickens to bobcat. Heartbreaking. I don’t let them freerange, but have their coop house in a stainless steel dog kennel. I lost the first two, my salmon favaroles, when a bobcat jumped over the 6 foot fencing, landed on the coop roof and ripped down the wooden door. You would not believe the claw marks. So, we put chain link fencing over the roof, dug in a concrete perimeter and covered any gap bigger than 3 inches with wire. All was good. I would find holes around the kennel, but happy and safe chickens inside. I only let them out in the yard when I was outside….I call it walking my chickens. One day, I let my guard down. I work from home and let the girls out on my lunch break. After I fed them fresh local strawberries as a treat–yes, they are spoiled–I had a hard time getting them back in the coop. I figured I’d let them roam a little longer and went back to work. I was on the phone with my boss when I heard the screams. Bobcat took one of my golden wyandottes. It was awful. For weeks after that I chased bobcat out of my yard. I would find them standing at the gate staring into the kennel. Beautiful animals, I harbor no ill feelings, but I don’t want to feed them my chickens. So, I bought a six foot fence with barb wire topping. nice. I figure this will slow the cats down. My proper is adjacent to some thickly forested lots and connects to a very wild zone, so they will be here. My neighbor got some chickens after I moved in, and in the span of three months has lost three of her girls. One to a racoon, one to a hawk, and the third died because she had some type of worm/nematode that attached to her throat and pretty much suffocated her. gruesome. Turns out they are in the soil, so I put apple cider vinegar in the water to prevent that from happening to mine.
    so, that’s my misadventures with our local wildlife.

  6. Audra says:

    We have Barn Swallows, Red Wing Black Birds, Yellow Headed Black Birds, Finches and some other little bird around here. I enjoy having them nesting around the gardens, they keep the cats out! We had an abundance of bees and butterflies in early spring when the Cherry Tree and Fruit bushes were blooming, but now they are few. My Son and I are planting a lot of flowers to try to encourage the Butterflies and Bees to come back and stick around.
    Happy Gardening.

  7. Dog Island Farm says:

    We have red fox squirrels (considered an exotic pest here, and trust me, they are!) and lots and lots of crows. I’m good with the crows as they keep hawks away from our chickens. The squirrels on the other hand will need to go soon.

  8. Laura @ Getting There says:

    That first picture of the scrub jay with the nesting material in its beak is amazing!

    Our backyard is quite tiny, but we see many squirrels and rabbits out there, as well as bumblebees, wasps and butterflies–and we also have had a family of sparrows nesting in our air conditioner sleeve for the past several years. I love to be surrounded with life in any form.

  9. Rhonda says:

    We have the sweetest rabbit living in our back yard under the lilac. We leave veggies out for him so he’ll leave our growing garden alone. I was actually just watching it munch on some dandelions as I sat and had my morning tea. He/she also had a nibble of the parsley but I don’t think he liked it. I guess I’m going to have to go get some chicken wire later today so he doesn’t get my good veggies. He’s such a cute little guy. Too bad you can’t keep wild rabbits as pets, I think he’d make a sweet little lap rabbit. 🙂

  10. Mercye says:

    I haven’t seen the squirrel that stole all my apricots last year. I hope he has found someone else’s trees. Rabbits are being chased away by the coyotes this year. Our number of quail was huge, but most of them have found other homes. The bees are back and the rattlesnakes haven’t made their presence known yet. Now that the hot weather is upon us the cayenne pepper comes out and spread along the perimeter of our property to deter unwanted critters.

  11. Lori says:

    I noticed that the bunnies hardly ate anything in the garden this year. I covered the raised lettuce bed with a loose piece of wire fencing (just laid across the top, unfastened) to keep the dog from walking on the lettuce, and the bunnies haven’t nibbled a leaf.

    They ate the parsley down to the ground right after I planted it, but now it’s back up and four times as bushy as before — and they are leaving it along! (Presumably they found something else to eat now that spring has truly sprung.)

  12. Judy Jackson says:

    We are let nature be people too, it’s only right.

    We’ve lived and gardened in rural surroundings all our lives. All kinds of wildlife was present – fox, opossum, raccoon, deer, bobcat, panther, skunk, coyote, hawks, other birds, rattlesnakes and other snakes, you name it… – but we never had any problems with them at all.

    Now we are urban homesteading in the middle of Central Florida’s concrete jungle surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, major highways and traffic, miles and miles of businesses and houses… much like you guys.

    In the last 6 months we have had a raccoon wipe out a small flock of chickens, and a HUGE black bear spend a few hours investigating our fenced back yard and knocking over our beehive helping himself to a bit of honey. We’ve got hawks that watch the chickens, opossums that raid the garbage, rats that get into everything, mice, snakes, birds, and LOTS of bugs, and toads and lizards and frogs.

    We find ways to compensate and let nature be.

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