Before construction even began on Francisco Park, we were uplifted by the birds!
We were committed to creating an inviting environment for both local and migratory birds, and to ensure certain native plants would invite and support them. In 2016, an ornithologist friend of the park discovered a surprising 54 different species used the site. This knowledge directly informed our horticultural planning.
Five years later, even as we complete construction, we have seen an increase in bird activity and even some nesting. We have spotted Warblers, Song Sparrows, Jays, Finches, Cedar Waxwings, Northern Flickers, and Robins, and our beloved flock of Parrots make regular visits to perch in the Oak trees. We were thrilled to hear a Mockingbird singing beautifully from the large Cypress in the center of the park. And a courtship ritual between two handsome hawks was witnessed by a construction worker who is also a birder.
We are looking forward to welcoming the industrious Hummingbirds with the Hummingbird Sage, Red Flowering Currant, and Goldenrod planted to attract precious pollinators. Some birds seem to be drawn to the updraft from the slopes of Francisco Park, especially at Larkin and Francisco Streets where larger species like Red-Tailed Hawks dart and soar.
We have found the Audubon Guide to North American Birds to be a great source for learning and listening to the songs of specific birds. Knowing we welcome such a variety of birds has reiterated the critical importance of open space for creatures, great and small. We cannot wait for the birds to welcome you to Francisco Park and serenade you with their thanks.
Photos: Copyright © 2021 Charlie Wells