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9803Re: [CALBIRDS] Re: Crested Caracara at Ballona Wetlands (Area A)

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  • Chet Ogan
    Jan 13 11:51 PM
      Hi birders:
      The landowner op here in Del Norte County has been providing the Crested Caracara with offal to keep it around his property.  This bird first showed up about 2004 and is still present most of the time. It disappears briefly but returns to the Smith River bottoms area.  It has been as far north as the area around the mouth of the Rogue River, Oregon.  So the question is Will the LA county Caracara find enough to eat?

      Chet Ogan
      When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
      -John Muir

      Chet Ogan
      Eureka, CA
      707-496-9001 cell
      707-442-9353 home

      From: Robert van de Hoek <robertvandehoek@...>
      To: "LACoBirds@yahoogroups.com" <LACoBirds@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: "calbirds@yahoogroups.com" <calbirds@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 4:41 PM
      Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Re: Crested Caracara at Ballona Wetlands (Area A)

      Greetings Birders,
      I also observed the Crested Caracara in the leafless (winter dormant) White Alder about 15 feet above the ground at the Ballona Freshwater Marsh on Jefferson Boulevard.  The air was quite warm and rising (thermals), and when the Crested Caracara lifted off the tree at circa 11:30am, it quickly rose southward to approximately 1000 feet over the edge of the Westchester Bluffs (at least 500 feet high), and then the Crested Caracara soared and winging it northward over Marina Del Rey/Fiji Way/Area A, and circled there at several thousand feet (but not 10,000' in my opinion), and then soared slightly south again over Area A and Ballona Creek, before rising higher and moving north again.  At one point approximately 5 gulls rose up several thousand feet over the Marina to deliberately intesect with the Crested Caracara, but these gulls simply soared on by.  I lost sight of it at approximately 11:50am.  I hope that the Crested Caracara got some
      carrion or prey while here at Ballona in Area A this morning, as there are certainly lots of Audubon Cottontail Rabbits and Pocket Gophers there.  However, I did not notice any  "animal body parts" in Area A field, but I could have missed finding those "body parts" fairly easily as there are approximately 139 acres in Area A adjacent to Fiji Way.  Interestingly, in the general vicinity of the Crested Caracara on Culver Boulevard, two Striped Skunk were killed two days ago on Wednesday morning (January 11, 2012) by speeding automobiles about 1/3 mile apart from each other.  There was also one dead Opossum and two dead Audubon Rabbits.  Could this carrion and other carrion have played a role in attracting the Crester Caracara to Ballona?  Is there any documentation in the literature of Crested Caracara feeding on Skunk carrion?  And could the coyotes at Ballona have pushed the Crested Caracara to leave Ballona, or is the Crested
      Caracara still at Ballona somewhere?
      Robert van de Hoek, Conservation Biologist & Biogeographer.
      Ballona Institute & Wetlands Defense Fund.
      Los Angeles (Playa Del Rey), CA.

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