If You Build It, They Will Come

October 26, 2014  •  1 Comment

Water is essential for birds and other wildlife.  Monterey County, California, especially in the current drought, is no exception.  I recently visited a ranch in the rolling (and very dry) hills of Monterey County where a friend, Bruce Finocchio, has created a small oasis for local wildlife and a wonderful location for wildlife photography.

A small pool as water source, live oak and other shrubs as cover, and a few bird feeders attract a wide variety of visitors.  Add a few blinds for photography and you have an ideal place to spend a couple of days observing and photographing on beautiful fall days.

This modest little creation of water, food, and cover provides a smorgasbord for both wildlife and photographers.  Activity around the pool –- foraging, perching, bathing, drinking  -- was almost constant during my visit.  Sparrows, towhees, finches, quail, jays, thrashers, chipmunks and cottontails… if you build it they will come.

Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica), Monterey County, CaliforniaWestern Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica), Monterey County, California

A Western Scrub Jay enjoys a bath.

Merriam's Chipmunk (Neotamias merriami), Monterey County, CaliforniaMerriam's Chipmunk (Neotamias merriami), Monterey County, California

Merriam's Chipmunk gets a drink.

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus), Monterey County, CaliforniaSpotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus), Monterey County, CaliforniaSpotted Towhee comes in for a drink, Monterey County California

Spotted Towhee pauses for a drink and is reflected in the pool.

Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), Monterey County, CaliforniaDesert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), Monterey County, California

Desert Cottontail remains wary while drinking.

California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum), Monterey County, CaliforniaCalifornia Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum), Monterey County, California

California Thrasher enjoys a dip in the pool.


Bruce Finocchio(non-registered)
Great Job on the images, Justine... I just love the Scrub jay bathing... I need to check and see what I got. And yes, I always say if you feed them, they will come. Also, the Ramrod Ranch is always full of miracles of nature!!!
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