Critters: Tree Houses

Punta de arboles, Point of Trees, the place we know as the Torrey Pines Reserve with its abundance of trees on the coast, served as a landmark for Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Years later, in 1850, Dr. Charles Parry came upon an unnamed species of tree only found in Del Mar’s close environs (and Santa Rosa Island) that he named the Torrey Pine in honor of his mentor John Torrey.

Baby egrets near the Lagoon. Photo by John Weare

Trees of all types have since joined the Torrey, a happy image of our city, and grown up in Del Mar bringing their beauty and practicality, shade, the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen, homes for birds and other critters, good for us and our planet.


To keep our trees healthy, it is time to trim, thin, lace, clean up, and fertilize them— opening views and letting in light—before our bird population’s thoughts turn towards nesting. They may getting ready, now scouting out the perfect home sites for their next generation and will begin to nest in March singing their mostly melodic songs and showing off their beautiful colors in spring time. From their home bases in their tree houses, they are a form of pest control, eating up many thousands of pesky insects we don’t then have to deal with and they are a distribution source for seeds during their daily flights over wide areas ensuring biodiversity.

Photos by Julie Maxie-Allison