Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 Neighborhood Wildlife Review

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 1, 2008. Can you spot the Corralitas Fox? (Click on photo to enlarge.)

2008 was a year for unusual wildlife sightings in the neighborhood. Late spring was a busy time for wildlife on Corralitas Drive. In April and May, we had routine sightings of the Corralitas Fox. George Jones captured awesome photos of a hummingbird raising a baby. There was even an incident of snake vs hawk (the gopher snake won). In most neighborhoods, daytime coyote sightings are unusual, but not here. Apparently, summer is the time for giant moths.

In August and September, we had two separate reports from different neighbors of a female mule deer: one on Rosebud under the 2 Freeway near Allesandro around 10AM; the second a few weeks later on Corralitas at the base of the Corralitas Staircase around 11PM. Unfortunately, no one got a photo.

Mule deer live in Griffith Park, but not Elysian Park. City Wildlife Officer Greg Randall reported female mule deer often flee Griffith Park and hide during mating season (August- September). However, he too had never heard of sightings this far south of the park. It's possible the deer found much less nighttime traffic on Riverside Drive since the abolishing of overnight parking last year. The deer likely found its way to Corralitas and Allesandro via the Red Car Property, a wildlife corridor.

In October, a juvenile red-shouldered hawk visited regularly, but was not as comfortable with people as earlier red tail hawks. The Audubon Center in nearby Debs Park lists at least 10 different raptors on their bird checklist.

For the past month, Corralitas Drive neighbors up and down the street reported seeing and hearing a great horned owl around dawn, dusk and throughout the night. Several neighbors report two owls calling to each other on recent nights. No one has been able to snap a photo of the owls yet. In the past, at least two different species of owls were seen in the neighborhood; great horned owl and a similar looking owl at about half the size.

If you have photos of any neighborhood wildlife (including scary bugs), please send them to Diane Edwardson at redcarproperty@gmail.com with info pertaining to when, where and who took the photo as well as any other observations of the animal's behavior at the time. DO NOT attempt to pet or feed wildlife.

For more on urban wildlife, see City of Los Angeles Animal Services website.