Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Corralitas Drive: Red Tailed Hawks Affecting Neighborhood Bird Behavior

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 28, 2012.  I watched both Red Tails make failed gopher/rat/small mammal hunts from the Eucalyptus trees on the 2 Freeway, adjacent  to the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

With 4 hungry babies to feed, the nesting pair of Red Tailed Hawks have been taking whatever prey they can get this year.  Last week, a neighbor and his family walking the Red Car Property, reported seeing a Cooper's Hawk catch a Mourning Dove in the trees in Red Car Canyon.  The very next day, they watched a Red Tail fly by with a Mourning Dove in its talons, headed for the nest at Allesandro & Rosebud. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 15, 2012.  A pair of crows must have a nest on the opposite side of Corralitas Drive, as they seem to harass the Red Tails daily. 

In the past week, I've noticed a flock of about 8 large green parrots has grown strangely quiet, as they fly quickly and lower in altitude over the top of Corralitas.  Usually the parrots are noisy, calling constantly, as they fly by in the mornings.  They seem to know the Red Tails are on the hunt, and they should pass quickly through the hawks' territory.  (The hawks are usually in a nearby tree looking for prey.) 

The squirrels in my yard are noticeably quiet this year too.  There are not too many squirrels left either.