Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Corralitas Drive: Great Horned Owl Sighting

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, December 31, 2011.  This may or may not be the same owl I saw yesterday, January 10, 2012.  It's another one of Vandiveer's terrific photos of the Great Horned Owl in Red Car Canyon.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Around 1PM yesterday, a neighbor and I were playing with the dogs in my backyard, when a very large Great Horned Owl casually flew across the backyard, 9 feet above our heads!  We couldn't see where it flew to, but it was heading for the Eucalyptus trees below the log cabins on Corralitas Drive. We were wowed by the encounter. 

We both initially thought it was a hawk when we first saw it.  Since it was slowly flying by, we could see the head and body were much larger, and you could see the "horns."  Of course, neither of us had a camera handy.

We noticed the squirrels had been unusually quiet.  They're typically jumping and running from tree to tree, chattering constantly.  They knew there was a predator nearby.  (We've got way too many squirrels in our yard - predators are welcome here!)   The birds were silent too.

1-10-12, Another Raptor Sighting:
Around 5 PM yesterday, the same neighbor and I were out in the street, telling 3 other neighbors about our earlier owl encounter.  On cue, a small hawk, possibly Cooper's or Red Shouldered Hawk flew overhead and joined a second one already sitting atop a big pine tree on Corralitas Drive. 

Send us photos of your Red Car Neighborhood wildlife sightings: