Our Welcome (and not welcome) Nature Guests

Our Welcome (and not welcome) Nature Guests

Our housesitter called when we were away to say that we hadn’t told her about our unexpected friend. At dusk she had walked out onto the back patio and discovered a 5-foot gopher snake slithering along the house. Knowing our respect for critters, she successfully whisked it away with a broom. We hope it stays around. After all, gopher snakes eat lots of rats and other rodents, which also seem to like our yard. [Read more…]

Native Bees and Other Wildlife Find Our Home

Native Bees and Other Wildlife Find Our Home

What a joy this spring to walk around our yard here in Southern California – a former lawn now full of native and other wildlife-attracting plants. The native bees have arrived in higher numbers, challenging the busy honeybees on our blooming ceanothus and lavender. Our resident Anna’s hummingbird seemed to survive the cold spell this winter and is perching on his usual tree branch  [Read more…]

Saving Wildlife: Keep Cats Indoors (and Other Suggestions)

Saving Wildlife: Keep Cats Indoors (and Other Suggestions)

First a full disclosure: I have had both indoor cat and outdoor cats.

Yesterday I came across a half-eaten bird kill caused by a cat I’ve seen stalking our bird-friendly property. It made me think of some research The Secret Life of Roaming Cats I heard on NPR in August. Working with the National Geographic Society, University of Georgia researchers strapped small video cameras on 55 cats as they roamed [Read more…]

Please Keep Cats Inside …(and a few more Wildcam shots)

Please Keep Cats Inside …(and a few more Wildcam shots)

This morning my husband came inside after throwing seed on the ground for the wild birds and said it was a good thing I didn’t go down first…. A baby rabbit that we had been watching as it grew up in the cover of our slope was dead on the ground, uneaten, its head severed (sorry for the graphic description – but that’s what cats do.) It would be one thing if cats ate what the kill, but often they do not. [Read more…]

Save a Songbird: Keep Cats Inside

Save a Songbird: Keep Cats Inside

2016 Follow-up – If you can’t bring your cats inside permanently – please consider this Birds Be Safe Collar -A recent United States-based scientific study has shown that Birdsbesafe