This morning while videoing hummingbirds for an upcoming project, I had an exciting surprise: my 678th Life Bird - a yellow-breasted chat.
We haven't traveled to many new destinations this year and that can make it difficult to see new bird species. On a weekend trip to San Diego I did spot my first black skimmer and a California gnatcatcher, but this sighting was truly rewarding because it was in our own yard.
The chat was feeding in some of our dense native shrubbery and taking a quick bath in the water pooled on some leaves. I didn't get a photo, but the bright yellow chest and long tail are printed in my mind.
We have now seen 71 species of birds in our yard in suburban Los Angeles. A perfect example of how recreating and restoring native habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. A wildlife refuge is possible in your own backyard.