September 22, 2020
Every time I visit my friend Cat Jones‘s garden, it’s lovelier than the time before. Over the past 4 to 5 years she’s been busily making her Steiner Ranch garden, which overlooks a wildflower meadow and a wooded canyon, into a retreat for her and her family and for the wildlife she encourages. Water features tucked here and there throughout her garden are a key part of her avian welcome mat, and she’s noticed that birds coming in for a drink or a bathe favor different water features — a birdbath, the brown ceramic fountain pictured above, shallow water dishes, a steel bowl with dwarf waterlily, and a stock-tank pond — depending on the species.
Here’s what Cat says: “The blue birdbath is favored by cardinals and eastern phoebes. The fountain by the deck is the finches’ absolute favorite, along with the mockingbirds and summer tanagers. Chickadees, titmice, and cardinals visit the dishes on the north side of the house. Doves visit the tanks, as do springtime flocks of cedar waxwings and robins. They robins and waxwings also like congregating around the base of the fountain.”
It’s interesting to hear how varied are birds’ preferences