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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Las Gallinas Creek

Across the parking lot from my school lies a creek and walking path. The path is lined with towering Eucalyptus, whose eerie creaking sounds continually bring surprise and confusion among the students during outdoor activities.

In one of the most magnificent trees, a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks have been nesting for several years. Last spring, myself and a few other resident bird nuts at school followed the raptor pair and their young until fledging with a great, simple joy.

Red-shouldered Hawks

Red-shouldered Hawk

Recently, we have been speculating on the return of this faithful pair and another round of young.

Tuesday I arrived at work and immediately spied a group of birders with monstrous lenses trained upon the nesting tree.

"Aha," I cried, "the hawks are back!"

I sprint-walked towards the group and expected the confirmation of my thoughts.

"A Great Horned is squattin'," replied one of the birders.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owls do not make their own nests and are one of the earliest nesting birds, beginning as early as January. This combination allows them to take advantage of the "abandoned" nests previously used by birds that have yet to migrate back for nesting season.

Two owlets have been seen in the nest, with one appearing stronger and fiestier than the other.

with owlet

How did this development impact the hawks? Well, they have traveled 50 feet down the path and have been building a new nest.

The spring shall be an exciting one along Las Gallinas Creek.


  1. That's great news about both of those raptors.

  2. Fantastic shots Christian. What a treat to find a Great Horned Owl nest. I will have to check it out on our next Marin County trip.