Friday, September 30, 2011

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: Native California Black Walnut Woodland Bird Habitat

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 28, 2011.  Nest #1, a good 2 feet wide, was above a homeless encampment in the dense California Black Walnut Woodland.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Native Southern California Black Walnut Woodland supports a thriving ecosystem in our hillside communities.  In the controversial 16-lot subdivision of the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract, the native trees are so dense it's difficult to even count trees, let alone find nests in them, until the leaves begin to drop for winter. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 28, 2011.  A close up on the nest reveals resourceful birds used mattress or pillow stuffing (probably from the homeless encampment) for added comfort and warmth. 

Nest #2:
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 28, 2011.  A few trees away and further upslope, I discovered nest #2.   Sadly, since the birds have long since fledged, I have no idea what species made these nests.  Since many birds return to the same nesting trees every year, we'll be looking forward to next year's nesting season.  That is, if all the trees aren't cut down before then.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 28, 2011. A close-up view shows an industrious spider has taken over the abandoned nest. 

We're taking a close-up look at the hillside ecosystem of the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract.  A protected native tree removal permit hearing is pending at the Board of Public Works on October 5, 2011.  More than 60 significant trees (42 of those are protected native trees) are slated to be razed from the 3-acre lot to reshape the entire slope to build a 15 small-lot subdivision at 2400 Allesandro.