Garden Club Bird and Flower of the Month

Highlighting the plants and animals found throughout our canyon, these blurbs are written and illustrated by local Garden Club members. Many thanks to the Chevy Chase Estates Garden Club. Please feel free to email them. gardenclub@chevychaseestates.us.

BUSHTIT

The bushtit is a 4-1/2” energetic, little gray bird, with a long tail and short beak.  The male bird has black eyes and the female, white.  If you hear a constant, light, rapid “psit psit psit” from several birdlets in a bush or tree overhead, most likely, it’s bushtits.  Stay right there, and you will see them fly out of the bush in a little group from bush to bush.  Bushtits feast on tiny bugs.  I have watched them from my window, devouring white flies on my hibiscus. They are somewhat acrobatic as they feast upside down and sideways.

Bushtits weave a soft, tight pouch for a nest.  It hangs down 8-10” and will contain several tiny eggs or baby birds.  They live year ‘round in and surrounding our canyon because of the chaparral and oak woodlands.   By Carroll Waldron Ropp

CALIFORNIA EVENING PRIMROSE  (Oenothera California)

This plant used to be in most of the road cuts of Southern California. Clumps 3 ft by 10 ft. across with 2 inch pink-white flowers are common. These small night-blooming fragrant flowers are nectar sources for the magical twilight feeders, hummingbirds and moths.  This plant is low to the ground so it needs the bare soil and weed control.  No animals seem to eat it.  Watercolor painting and article by Candyce Binzley.


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