Monday, December 5, 2022

A Violet-Green Swallow Feeds Its Chicks Tucked Away in a Dead Tree—Dispatch from Mendonoma

The following is an article written by Jeanne Jackson for her blog Mendonoma Sightings where she documents the wildlife, the land, and the waters of our coast.

Michael Reinhart’s photographs of a Violet-Green Swallow bringing food to its chicks in a dead tree

Lots of birds use dead trees. We see the Gualala Bald Eagle pair often perched in a snag just north of the mouth of the Gualala River. Acorn Woodpeckers use snags to drill their holes, which they then proceed to stuff with acorns, creating a granary tree. Michael Reinhart found this dead tree providing nesting cavities for several birds, including Pygmy Nuthatches. He also found Violet-green Swallows bringing insects to their chicks.

The moral of the story is, if you have a dead tree on your property and it isn’t a hazard, consider leaving it up for the birds.

Thanks to Mike for allowing me to share his photos with you here.

We woke up to drippy fog this morning, and temps are in the high 50’s. Years ago a good friend, Linda Brodie, told me to “embrace your inner fog,” a fun way of being able to enjoy the fog we get this time of year. The moisture it brings is very welcome and I’m embracing my inner fog today!

How Can You Support the Efforts of Mendonoma Sightings?

  • Buy Jeanne Jackson’s book Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year here. The 270-page, full-color documentation of our coast’s beauty would make for a great gift or coffee table conversation piece.
  • Jeanne Jackson has also written two children’s books: Sunny Loves Spring on the California Coast and Sunny Loves Summer on the California Coast. These playful children’s books were written to instill within children a love of nature. Jackson will be publishing the other two seasons this year. Those books can be purchased at
  • Check out Craig Tooley’s incredible photography of our coastline here. Buy some prints of his photos, get them framed, and bring the Mendonoma coast home.
  • “Follow” and “Like” the Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year Facebook page for direct access to Jackson’s dispatches of life on Mendonoma.
  • If you have your own Mendonoma Sighting, contact Jeanne Jackson at to submit your narrative and photograph so she can document the experience.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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