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Terry Thormin | profile | all galleries >> Backyard biodiversity tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Backyard biodiversity

On October 25th, 2009 I moved from Edmonton, Alberta to Comox, British Columbia. My new place is a townhouse with a backyard that measures 7.3m X 5.5m (24' X 18'). There is a gravel strip 0.56 m (22") wide along the fence that separates my row of units from the next row, and a raised garden bed that is 3m X 2.5m (10' x 8'). I can only do container gardening in the gravel strip, but I can plant directly into the ground in the raised bed.

I have maxed out the containers along the fence, and I grow a variety of vegetables and herbs as well as ornamental plants. The raised garden was already planted when I moved in but I am gradually converting it to a largely native plant garden. I have a simulated rock fountain and three bird feeders on a pole in the raised garden as well as a small water garden in a clay pot on a bench.

I have started keeping records of all the species of plants and animals I observe on or from my property, just to get an idea of what sort of biodiversity such a small plot can produce. I will not include any plants that are cultivated, but will include any native plants or plants that are introduced and have gone wild. I will count any birds I see from the backyard even if they are just flying by. This is a typical approach that birders use for yard lists. For the purpose of all lists I am also including anything I see in or from my front yard, which is far more sterile than the back, but has produced a few species of birds that the back has not.

What follows is a running total of the various major groups. Within the insects there are species that I have seen but have not as yet identified at least to family, and thus have not included them.

Birds - 50
Mammals - 2
Amphibians - 1
Insects - 64
Spiders - 10
Mites - 1
Isopods - 2
Millipedes - 1
Centipedes - 1
Molluscs - 1
Plants - 38

Total - 171 species

I will only include photographs that have been taken on the property, but will not necessarily include all such photographs taken as that may result in too large a gallery.
Backyard raised garden.JPG
Backyard raised garden.JPG
Backyard fence line.JPG
Backyard fence line.JPG
Rufous Hummingbird female 5b.jpg
Rufous Hummingbird female 5b.jpg
Northern Flicker 8a.jpg
Northern Flicker 8a.jpg
American Robin.JPG
American Robin.JPG
American Robin female 5a.JPG
American Robin female 5a.JPG
American Robin 13a.JPG
American Robin 13a.JPG
Hermit Thrush 4a.jpg
Hermit Thrush 4a.jpg
Hermit Thrush 3a.jpg
Hermit Thrush 3a.jpg
Chestnut-backed Chickadee at feeder 2a.jpg
Chestnut-backed Chickadee at feeder 2a.jpg
Spotted Towhee 12a.JPG
Spotted Towhee 12a.JPG
Dark-eyed Junco 22c.jpg
Dark-eyed Junco 22c.jpg
Pine Siskin 17c.jpg
Pine Siskin 17c.jpg
Pine Siskin at feeder 1a.jpg
Pine Siskin at feeder 1a.jpg
House Sparrow 6a.jpg
House Sparrow 6a.jpg
Banasa dimiata - Red-backed Stink Bug 1a.jpg
Banasa dimiata - Red-backed Stink Bug 1a.jpg
Chlorochroa sp. - Green Stink Bug A1a.jpg
Chlorochroa sp. - Green Stink Bug A1a.jpg
Leptoglossus occidentalis - Western Conifer Seed Bug 3b.jpg
Leptoglossus occidentalis - Western Conifer Seed Bug 3b.jpg
Strymon melinus - Gray Hairstreak 1a.jpg
Strymon melinus - Gray Hairstreak 1a.jpg
Callophrys augustinus - Western Brown Elfin 1c.jpg
Callophrys augustinus - Western Brown Elfin 1c.jpg
Caloptilia syringella 1a.jpg
Caloptilia syringella 1a.jpg
Neoalcis californiaria - Brownlined Looper 1a.jpg
Neoalcis californiaria - Brownlined Looper 1a.jpg
Operophtera brumata - Winter Moth 1a.jpg
Operophtera brumata - Winter Moth 1a.jpg
Acleris minuta - Yellowheaded Fireworm 1a.jpg
Acleris minuta - Yellowheaded Fireworm 1a.jpg
Hemerobiidae - Brown Lacewing A1a.jpg
Hemerobiidae - Brown Lacewing A1a.jpg
Pterostichus melanarius - Sidewalk Carabid 1a.jpg
Pterostichus melanarius - Sidewalk Carabid 1a.jpg
Amara sp. - Ground beetle A1a.JPG
Amara sp. - Ground beetle A1a.JPG
Histeridae - Clown Beetle A2a.jpg
Histeridae - Clown Beetle A2a.jpg
Histeridae - Clown Beetle A3a.jpg
Histeridae - Clown Beetle A3a.jpg
Agriotes lineatus - Click Beetle 1c.jpg
Agriotes lineatus - Click Beetle 1c.jpg
Coccinella septempunctata - Seven-spot Lady Beetle 8a.jpg
Coccinella septempunctata - Seven-spot Lady Beetle 8a.jpg
Otiorhynchus singularis - Weevil 1a.jpg
Otiorhynchus singularis - Weevil 1a.jpg
Pseudoerinna jonesi - Pelecorhynchid fly 1a.jpg
Pseudoerinna jonesi - Pelecorhynchid fly 1a.jpg
Eupeodes sp. - Flower Fly in flight B1b.jpg
Eupeodes sp. - Flower Fly in flight B1b.jpg
Eupeodes sp. - Flower Fly in flight 1a.jpg
Eupeodes sp. - Flower Fly in flight 1a.jpg
Eupeodes sp. - Flower Fly C4a.jpg
Eupeodes sp. - Flower Fly C4a.jpg
Scaeva pyrastri - Flower Fly 1a.jpg
Scaeva pyrastri - Flower Fly 1a.jpg
Scaeva pyrastri - Flower Fly 4a.jpg
Scaeva pyrastri - Flower Fly 4a.jpg
Syrphini - Flower Fly A2b.JPG
Syrphini - Flower Fly A2b.JPG
Syritta pipiens - Flower fly 11a.jpg
Syritta pipiens - Flower fly 11a.jpg
Eristalis tenax - Drone Fly 9a.jpg
Eristalis tenax - Drone Fly 9a.jpg
Eristalis tenax - Drone Fly dark individual 1.jpg
Eristalis tenax - Drone Fly dark individual 1.jpg
Eristalis tenax - Drone fly in flight 1a.jpg
Eristalis tenax - Drone fly in flight 1a.jpg
Merodon equestris - Narcissus Bulb Fly 1a.jpg
Merodon equestris - Narcissus Bulb Fly 1a.jpg
Scathophaga stercoraria - Golden Dung Fly 1a.jpg
Scathophaga stercoraria - Golden Dung Fly 1a.jpg
Calliphora sp. - Blow fly A1b.jpg
Calliphora sp. - Blow fly A1b.jpg
Drosophila melanogaster - Fruit Fly 1a.jpg
Drosophila melanogaster - Fruit Fly 1a.jpg
Apis melifera - Honey Bee on Winter Heather 2a.jpg
Apis melifera - Honey Bee on Winter Heather 2a.jpg
Bombus vosnesenskii - Yellow-faced Bumble Bee 1a.JPG
Bombus vosnesenskii - Yellow-faced Bumble Bee 1a.JPG
Nomada sp - Cuckoo bee B1a.jpg
Nomada sp - Cuckoo bee B1a.jpg
Osmia lignaria - Blue Orchard Mason Bee 1a.jpg
Osmia lignaria - Blue Orchard Mason Bee 1a.jpg
Sceliphron caementarium - Mud-dauber 4b.jpg
Sceliphron caementarium - Mud-dauber 4b.jpg
Vespula pensylvanica - Western Yellow Jacket 2b.jpg
Vespula pensylvanica - Western Yellow Jacket 2b.jpg
Ancistrocerus antilope - Potter Wasp 4a.jpg
Ancistrocerus antilope - Potter Wasp 4a.jpg
Ancistrocerus antilope - Potter Wasp with root maggot fly 5b.jpg
Ancistrocerus antilope - Potter Wasp with root maggot fly 5b.jpg
Andrena sp. - Andrenid bee C1a.jpg
Andrena sp. - Andrenid bee C1a.jpg
Salticidae - Jumping Spider A1a.jpg
Salticidae - Jumping Spider A1a.jpg
Phidippus borealis with Lasioglossum sp.- Boreal Jumping Spider 3a.jpg
Phidippus borealis with Lasioglossum sp.- Boreal Jumping Spider 3a.jpg
Eris militaris - Jumping Spider 1a.jpg
Eris militaris - Jumping Spider 1a.jpg
Platycryptus californicus - Jumping Spider 1a.jpg
Platycryptus californicus - Jumping Spider 1a.jpg
Salticus scenicus - Zebra Spider 2a.jpg
Salticus scenicus - Zebra Spider 2a.jpg
Metaphidippus mannii - Jumping Spider 2a.jpg
Metaphidippus mannii - Jumping Spider 2a.jpg
Jumping Spider - Salticidae C1c.jpg
Jumping Spider - Salticidae C1c.jpg
Philodromus dispar - Philodromid crab spider male 1a.jpg
Philodromus dispar - Philodromid crab spider male 1a.jpg
Tibellus sp. - Grass Spider A1a.jpg
Tibellus sp. - Grass Spider A1a.jpg
Agelenopsis sp. - Funnel Weaving Spider A2.JPG
Agelenopsis sp. - Funnel Weaving Spider A2.JPG
Armadillidium vulgare - Woodlouse 1a.jpg
Armadillidium vulgare - Woodlouse 1a.jpg
Yellow Wood Violet - Viola glabella 3b.jpg
Yellow Wood Violet - Viola glabella 3b.jpg
White Fawn Lily - Erythronium oregonum 5a.jpg
White Fawn Lily - Erythronium oregonum 5a.jpg
Pink Fawn Lily Erythronium revolutum 9a.JPG
Pink Fawn Lily Erythronium revolutum 9a.JPG
Plagiomnium insigne - Badge Moss 1c.jpg
Plagiomnium insigne - Badge Moss 1c.jpg
Few-flowered Shootingstar - Dodecatheon pulchellum 1a.jpg
Few-flowered Shootingstar - Dodecatheon pulchellum 1a.jpg
Pacific Bleeding Heart - Dicentra formosa 5a.JPG
Pacific Bleeding Heart - Dicentra formosa 5a.JPG
Star-flowered Solomons-seal - Smilacena stellata 5a.JPG
Star-flowered Solomons-seal - Smilacena stellata 5a.JPG
Rosy Twistedstalk  - Streptopus roseus 1a.jpg
Rosy Twistedstalk - Streptopus roseus 1a.jpg
Herb-robert - Geranium robertianum 1a.jpg
Herb-robert - Geranium robertianum 1a.jpg