Bird Habitat – Brush Piles

In the previous post about Killer the rose it was mentioned that prunings from him were added to the brush piles maintained for bird habitat. We are big friends of the birds here at Faire Garden. We also are big fans of old pieces of trees and shrubs.

Maybe things are planted too densely here for there are always trimmings that are too large for the compost. What to do with this fine material is a challenge. In the beginning of the reclaiming of the property the branches were piled by the curb for the city to pick up with a large truck with a giant arm. The arm is similar to the game machines where you try and get the prize by operating a claw like device. The city gathers trimmings from woody plants along with fallen leaves that homeowners place at the curbing and takes them to a giant chipping machine to be made into mulch. That is a good use of our tax dollars in my opinion. Once the property was tidied up it seemed better to pile what few branches were available into semi neat piles along its edges. There is always curly willow to add to the piles.

Once the large privet was cut the displaced birds needed a new home. They seem to have settled nicely into the many brush piles here and there. The brush is made up of a good variety of materials. Something for everyone. Doesn’t this look like a good spot for a wren or sparrow?

Something a little larger than a bird must be living in here.

This is a promising bird home.

Whole dead shrubs are added to the mix. This root ball looks cool. Honeysuckle likes it.

Some of the stuff is very thorny, mostly rose clippings and barberries.

These thorns can only have belonged to Killer.

This walnut tree is the backbone that holds many berry laden vines. Numerous birds feed and live among the wild roses, bittersweet, honeysuckle, wild grapes, and probably poison ivy that use this tree for support. The squirrels are trying to grow a walnut forest in my flower beds and containers with the nuts from this tree. But who can complain about pesky squirrels when the sky is my favorite color of blue!

Maintaining not complaining,

Frances

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8 Responses to Bird Habitat – Brush Piles

  1. brokenbeat says:

    we share your respect for the birds and are creating breeding campgrounds for them behind the creekside fence, mainly made of winter-bleached clematis stalks and sticker bush roots, which i daily dig more of for they travel like bamboo. i have a feeling though that amos, andrew, and junior, the groundhog triumvirate presiding over the creekbank, will find their own hoggish uses for the decomposing materials, their tyranny forcing the birds upwards. the birds probably would not mind in the slightest, but this consequence would be contrary to our objective. so be it, i suppose.

  2. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…so be it. You may need to get some wire fencing and bury it a foot or so underground to protect food crops. Maybe do some research on handling the groundhog problem.

  3. chuck b. says:

    I think it’s outstanding that you provide bird habitat like this in your garden. For me, I know this would keep things much more interesting than another patch of day lilies.

    In California, poison oak and blackberry brambles are popular spots for nesting quail. Once I learned that, I became a fan of poison oak and blackberry brambles.

  4. Frances says:

    chuck b…how wonderful! Do you have any quail in your garden?

  5. chuck b. says:

    I wish! My garden is verrry small. And, actually, it would be sad to find quail in my garden–they need more space to roam and couldn’t possibly find enough to eat to sustain themselves in my neighborhood. I see them at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park all the time however. There’s usually at least two coveys and they do very well there.

  6. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    Everytime I try to start a brushpile, it disappears. If it’s not DH in a cleanup frenzy, it’s my son making up games where sticks are futuristic weapons. Even he complains about DH getting rid of the sticks.

  7. Frances says:

    chuck b….You are fortunate to have the Botanical Garden to work in and visit. I love quail, there were lots out in the country at my grandmother’s house in Oklahoma, running in single file, zipping around.

  8. Frances says:

    MMD…Maybe an educational seminar for DH and weapon wielding son? Get them involved in adding to the pile and seeing what birds will move in! Or make the pile neatly and call it a bird log cabin?

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