JUNE 2015 LOCAL BAY AREA WILDLIFE PHOTOS / TRAINING DAY
Story of White tail kite family in eastern Contra Costa. I stated earlier I was monitoring a nest of White tailed kites near my home in Oakley. They have been here a few years and raised youngsters two years ago in a nest formally used by swainson hawks. There nest is high up in a grove of pine trees, I can’t even see the nest though I see the birds perch above the area. They occasionally ran off crows and swains quickly returning leaving little doubt they in protect mode. From experience, I knew I would be advised when the youngsters take flight as they scream mercifully everywhere they go on the initial flights. Friday 5-29 was the day I heard them first, there were three youngsters up amazingly. White tail young have rust color on their neck and chest area, once older they turn white, easy to determine at this stage the young and the adults. I was fortunate enough to capture these young raptors on training day. Not only do the parents assist with aerial activities, they hand over mice in midair giving youngster the feel of prey in their talons, also the real experience of two other aggressive babes bearing down on the sibling trying to steal the quarry. Everyone learns and at times it sounds like you’re in Jurassic Park. Sharing some of the photos taken during the melee… Photos 2, 3, 7, and 8.Anna’s hummingbirds pictures 1 and 9.
Light phased swainson in flight picture 4.Common titmouse mother feeding her youngsters at Del Valle reservoir photo 5. This mother must have had 6 or more youngsters she was feeding. They flew in one at a time formed a line and flopped on their butts when she fed them.
White pelican in flight at Los Vaqueros reservoir picture 6.In honor of Jurassic Park a western fence lizard from my back yard…