Visit Your Local Fair

Summer is winding down but you may still have time to visit a local fair.  These fairs bring back happy memories from my childhood (3-legged race, anyone?) The Napa Town & Country Fair is open now through Sunday August 12th.  I noticed several members of the Napa Valley Art Association are exhibiting in professional art… Continue reading Visit Your Local Fair

Western Bluebird

The beautiful blue-and rust Western Bluebird is actually a small thrush.  They swoop over open fields to catch insects.  They can also be attracted to backyard feeders with mealworms. The bills of Western Bluebirds are not equipped to dig their own nest holes, so the presence of cavities in trees or posts, old woodpecker holes… Continue reading Western Bluebird

Red-shouldered Hawk

A medium-sized hawk, our California subspecies is rich reddish-orange on breast, head and shoulders.  The wings are strongly patterned black-and-white and the tail strongly barred.   Red-shouldered hawks are typically seen in riparian woodland habitats.  Since 1900, their population has declined due to the clearing of wet hardwood forests.  Red-shouldered hawks and other raptors also… Continue reading Red-shouldered Hawk

Black-headed Grosbeak

  This chunky bird has a heavy conical bill and a fully orange belly which distinguishes it from the Spotted Towhee. Often hidden in dense foliage, they are usually identified by their rich melodious whistling.  The song is similar to a Robin’s but faster and less broken. Back-headed Grosbeaks prefer habitat with mixed riparian woodlands… Continue reading Black-headed Grosbeak

Quail Strut

Our golden foothills of California are a favorite habitat of this colorful quail.  The male often stands vigil on a tree stump or fence post, claiming his territory and warning his flock with his distinctive call to take cover in the underbrush. The distinctive call sounds like Chi-ca-go!

California Quail

Established as the California state bird in 1931, the birds was known for it’s hardiness and adaptability.  Also known as the valley quail, these birds have a distinctive black plume that curves forward. These quail prefer low growing shrubs or woodpiles for cover.  Adapting well to human populations, these ground nesting birds are subject to… Continue reading California Quail

Great Blue Fisherman

  Great blue herons can adapt to almost any wetland habitat as long as it holds fish.  Their primary diet is fish although they have been known to eat a wide range of shrimp, crabs, insects, amphibians and even small mammals. Herons are known as very clever anglers.  Some have been observed to drop insects… Continue reading Great Blue Fisherman