Clark’s Bird Friendly Yard

    This is an uplifted coastal plain with well developed soil and good drainage. Original humans were Wiyot and a small obsidian arrowhead was found in excavated soil.

    In 1987 the landscaping consisted of front lawn to the sidewalk and a Deodar Cedar, Bishop Pine, Japanese Black Pine, Apple, Camellias and a Rhododendron. The back lawn extended to the alley.

    We started native plant landscaping enthusiastically after completing the main addition and have continued steadily.

    Bird Friendliness

    The primary bird-friendly elements are the plants, which provide primary nectar fruit and seed foods and secondary food of insects. Occasionally there is a tertiary food source called birds, for a skillful Sharp-Shinned Hawk.


    Much of the grass is native Agrostis Pallens

    The placement of the Alders in the front yard to let in sun from the South also provides protective cover.

    The most recent bird friendly addition is our “catio” that will allow future cats access to an outside space without access to birds.

    Maintenance

    Maintenance seems to be typical for a lot this size.

    We remove non-native, invasive plants and trim the native brush. Leaves and trimmings are ground up for mulch and compost

    Initially Glyphosate was used to get the South African iris and Blue Periwinkle under control. No pesticides are currently in use as this would defeat the purpose of encouraging insects and spiders.

    Grass is mowed early in the season to control height and is allowed to estivate in the summer. Agrostis pallens will green up with heavy dew.

    We no longer use gas powered tools.

           Notable Species

Birds: Red Breasted Nuthatch, Hermit Thrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Lesser Gold Finch, Anna's Hummingbird

Mammals: Skunk, Fox (gray seen in alley). Despite the fence, free roaming neighborhood cats do get in. Humane negative reinforcement is ongoing.

Herps: California Slender Salamander, Garter Snakes.

Arthropods: Ants, Ground Beetles, several species of spiders, leaf hoppers, bumble bees and other wild bees.

 
          Future Features and Fantasies

    Replace grass at base of alders with “stream bed” cobbles interspersed with interesting native plants.

    More Patrick’s Point Fescue along borders

    Install solar-powered self replenishing bird waterer