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Crested Caracara

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  • Don DesJardin
    An apparent adult plumage Crested Caracara was seen around 4:30 in the afternoon Dec 9th from the Saticoy Spreading Grounds near Saticoy, Ventura County, Ca.
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 10, 2002
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      An apparent adult plumage Crested Caracara was seen around 4:30 in the
      afternoon Dec 9th from the Saticoy Spreading Grounds near Saticoy, Ventura
      County, Ca. It was sitting on the fence at the northern most pond near the
      Freeman Diversion Dam. These ponds are located near the base of South
      Mountain. Best access is to park where Rose Ave ends at Hwy 118 (Los
      Angeles Ave) and walk in there. Walk over towards the radio towers, keeping
      on the road past the house north towards the dam, which is on the Santa
      Clara River. Keep in mind that unauthorized cars are not allowed onto the
      property. Also a Zone-tailed Hawk was seen around mid day doing slow
      circles over the mid town area of Ojai.
      San Buenaventura, California, USA
    • Steve Sosensky
      Hi All, I m posting to the nearby local lists for those who don t get Calbirds. Jim Abernathy and I saw this bird today from about 1445 to 1450. We were
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 10, 2002
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        Hi All,

        I'm posting to the nearby local lists for those who don't get Calbirds.

        Jim Abernathy and I saw this bird today from about 1445 to 1450. We were
        standing on a gravel road across the farm from the radio towers mentioned
        in Don's directions. I was scanning the birds on the fences and structures
        when the Caracara chased two Ravens through my field of view. The three
        birds flew near us giving a good view, then the Caracara disappeared near
        the northern settling ponds. We searched for about 30 minutes but never
        refound it.

        In the long narrow pond at the back of the front set of ponds was a flock
        of 30 or so Canada Geese along with a minima "Cackling".

        BTW, if you go, you will see No Trespassing signs on the fence near the
        gate. However, there is a sign just inside welcoming birders and giving the
        dos and don'ts of visiting there.

        At 08:35 AM 12/10/2002 -0800, Don DesJardin wrote:
        >These ponds are located near the base of South
        >Mountain. Best access is to park where Rose Ave ends at Hwy 118 (Los
        >Angeles Ave) and walk in there. Walk over towards the radio towers, keeping
        >on the road past the house north towards the dam, which is on the Santa
        >Clara River. Keep in mind that unauthorized cars are not allowed onto the
        >property.

        Good birding,
        Steve <mailto:steve@...> for general use
        <mailto:mobile@...> for rare birds and emergencies only

        Steve Sosensky, photographer www.sosensky.com
        10834 Blix Street #213 818-508-4946
        Toluca Lake, CA 91602 34:09:23.411 N, 118:21:56.678 W
        Audubon in So. California www.SoCalAudubon.org/socal/
        San Fernando Valley AS www.SanFernandoValleyAudubon.org/sfvas/
        AIM ID: SteveS310 Yahoo Messenger ID: SteveSosensky
        SoCal FRS: use channel 11 code 22
      • chaniot@pacific.net
        Mon, 23 Aug 2004 -- A CRESTED CARACARA is currently being seen in coastal Mendocino County near the town of Westport. It was first reported on Aug 21 along
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 23, 2004
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          Mon, 23 Aug 2004 -- A CRESTED CARACARA is currently being seen in coastal
          Mendocino County near the town of Westport. It was first reported on Aug 21
          along Highway 1 several miles south of Westport feeding on carrion. For the
          last two days it has been seen by many observers north of Westport near
          milemarker 79.75. It has been seen most often with Turkey Vultures in a
          lone cypress tree to the west of the highway. There is a deer carcass
          between the tree and the road where they are feeding. As of this afternoon
          there is still a good deal of meat on the carcass, and it may be attractive
          for several days to come. At about 3:30 P.M. today the caracara approached
          this area from the north where it had been sitting in another cypress about
          0.5 mile
          away. It flew off to the north again about 10 minutes later - probably
          going at least one mile along the Westport-Union Landing State Beach.
          More details of the sightings may be found at the Mendobirds website at
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mendobirds
          messages 993,994,996, and you can watch that site for updates.

          George Chaniot
          Potter Valley, MEN, CA
        • sayers68
          As we were doing our Western Snowy Plover survey today, we got to see a Crested Caracara flying north along the sandspit in Montana de Oro State Park. It was
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 1, 2005
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            As we were doing our Western Snowy Plover survey today, we got to see a Crested
            Caracara flying north along the sandspit in Montana de Oro State Park. It was flying
            low enough to make a positive ID.

            From what I know, they are sometimes seen as far up as Monterey and Marin. And I
            heard that they sometimes get blown up here in Mosoon years. We did hear from our
            office (Morro Bay State Parks) that this was the first sighting ever in the county. I know
            they are mostly carrion feeders and they sometimes will feed on lizards and other
            small live animals. But my question is do they feed on small birds? We are considering
            it a predator, but I am not sure if it would take a plover or not.

            Today was and interesting day...a new oystercatcher nest in the sand, two peregrine
            falcons, 200 western snowy plovers (not including 8 broods) and the caracara. Just
            another beautiful day at the sandspit.

            John Sayers
            Western Snowy Plover monitor
            Morro Bay State Parks
          • Bob Power
            Oh those crafty Caracara.... From Birds of North America Online: Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 1, 2005
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              Oh those crafty Caracara....

              From Birds of North America Online:

              Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion
              feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent 1938),
              probably because most visible when feeding on carrion.
              Actually a diet generalist and opportunistic forager,
              taking a wide variety of live prey, as well as
              carrion, from a variety of habitats.

              Main foods taken

              Insects; small and occasionally large vertebrates,
              including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and
              mammals; eggs; and carrion of all types.

              ... seeks live prey while making low sweeping flights
              over roads, pastures, and marshes.

              While perched, intently follows activities of parent
              songbirds tending nests; successful raids recorded on
              nests of Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) and
              Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos; Yosef and
              Yosef 1992). May occasionally hunt cooperatively;
              pairs of adults have been observed coordinating
              attacks on adult Cattle Egrets (Bulbulcus ibis;
              Whitacre et al. 1982), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus;
              Barbour 1923), prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.; Fisher
              1893), and lambs (Knowlton 1909, Bent 1938).

              Wish I was doin' what you're doin'.
              Best regards,
              Bob Power
              Oakland, CA

              --- sayers68 <sayers68@...> wrote:
              >... I know
              > they are mostly carrion feeders and they sometimes
              > will feed on lizards and other
              > small live animals. But my question is do they feed
              > on small birds? We are considering
              > it a predator, but I am not sure if it would take a
              > plover or not. ...
              >
              >
              > John Sayers
              > Western Snowy Plover monitor
              > Morro Bay State Parks
              >
              >


              "No birds sang the whole time we were up there. I didn't see a thing. I still dream about that trip though." Ted Parker, Northern Peru. 1978
              From: A Parrot Without A Name. Don Stap. Knopf, 1990

              Bob Power
              Oakland, CA
              Alameda County
            • Bob Power
              Oh those crafty Caracara.... From Birds of North America Online: Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent
              Message 6 of 12 , Jun 1, 2005
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                Oh those crafty Caracara....

                From Birds of North America Online:

                Generally viewed, erroneously, as primarily a carrion
                feeder (Knowlton 1909, Bailey 1925, Bent 1938),
                probably because most visible when feeding on carrion.
                Actually a diet generalist and opportunistic forager,
                taking a wide variety of live prey, as well as
                carrion, from a variety of habitats.

                Main foods taken

                Insects; small and occasionally large vertebrates,
                including fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and
                mammals; eggs; and carrion of all types.

                ... seeks live prey while making low sweeping flights
                over roads, pastures, and marshes.

                While perched, intently follows activities of parent
                songbirds tending nests; successful raids recorded on
                nests of Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) and
                Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos; Yosef and
                Yosef 1992). May occasionally hunt cooperatively;
                pairs of adults have been observed coordinating
                attacks on adult Cattle Egrets (Bulbulcus ibis;
                Whitacre et al. 1982), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus;
                Barbour 1923), prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.; Fisher
                1893), and lambs (Knowlton 1909, Bent 1938).

                Wish I was doin' what you're doin'.
                Best regards,
                Bob Power
                Oakland, CA

                --- sayers68 <sayers68@...> wrote:
                >... I know
                > they are mostly carrion feeders and they sometimes
                > will feed on lizards and other
                > small live animals. But my question is do they feed
                > on small birds? We are considering
                > it a predator, but I am not sure if it would take a
                > plover or not. ...
                >
                >
                > John Sayers
                > Western Snowy Plover monitor
                > Morro Bay State Parks
                >
                >


                "No birds sang the whole time we were up there. I didn't see a thing. I still dream about that trip though." Ted Parker, Northern Peru. 1978
                From: A Parrot Without A Name. Don Stap. Knopf, 1990

                Bob Power
                Oakland, CA
                Alameda County
              • Oscar Johnson
                Hi all, I just received a second hand report of a Crested Caracara at McGrath State Beach in Ventura. It was seen this morning (5 January) in Area 1 of the
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 5, 2006
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                  Hi all,

                  I just received a second hand report of a Crested Caracara at McGrath State Beach in Ventura. It was seen this morning (5 January) in Area 1 of the state beach, from there it flew north towards the Santa Clara River Estuary, where it appeared to land. The observer was Daniel Gant, a ranger with the state parks. He is a begining birder, but he has some familiarity with the species, and he is confident that it was a Caracara. He also obtained photos, which I will try to get a hold of. He also said the bird was unbanded and appeared to wild.

                  Good luck.

                  Oscar Johnson
                  Santa Barbara, CA


                  ---------------------------------
                  Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about. Just $16.99/mo. or less

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Daniel
                  Greetings~ I m the state park ranger who was fortunate to view the Crested Caracara yesterday (1/5) at 10AM. It was perched on top of a pile of cleared brush
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 6, 2006
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                    Greetings~
                    I'm the state park ranger who was fortunate to view the Crested
                    Caracara yesterday (1/5) at 10AM. It was perched on top of a pile of
                    cleared brush adjacent to a trash can straight out from campsite 44 in
                    campground loop 1 at McGrath State Beach. The bird then flew approx
                    50 yards away and landed on the sand dunes. After hopping around in
                    the sand briefly, it flew again, soaring briefly and giving a good
                    view of what looked to be definite adult plumage before descending
                    behind some willows lining the Santa Clara River. I had a great look
                    at the bird for 5-10 minutes and did not see any bands, tags, or
                    jesses. I checked the park again today (1/6), but did not see the
                    bird. I've posted two photos in the Raptors folder.

                    McGrath State Beach is located just north of the Santa Clara River
                    (which separates the cities of Ventura and Oxnard) in Ventura County.
                    If you're in the area and wish to look for the bird, please be aware
                    that due to recent flood damage, the state PARK IS temporarily CLOSED
                    TO ALL VEHICULAR TRAFFIC. Currently, the ONLY way to access the park
                    for day use is from Spinnaker Drive off of Harbor Blvd; park at the
                    end of Spinnaker once it starts to curve north and go parallel to the
                    beach in a parking area known as Surfer's Knoll. Parking is free
                    here; walk downcoast on the beach (1/4-1/2 mile) and cross the Santa
                    Clara River outflow (the sand bar that caused the park to flood was
                    breached during the storms over New Year's but may be forming again
                    already). Continue downcoast another 1/4 mile then take one of many
                    use paths over the dunes to access the area near the campground where
                    the bird was viewed.

                    Alternatively, (and ideally) make a reservation
                    (www.reserveamerica.com) and spend a night or two camping in this gem
                    of a state park. McGrath State Beach is a great camping park with
                    great birding along the river and superb coastal dunes & an extensive
                    beach. McGrath has no day use facilities other than a small parking
                    lot (day use fees are $8/vehicle).

                    If anyone views the bird (or any other notable birds/critters), please
                    drop me an email at: DGant@...
                    Also, if anyone has any questions about Ventura Sector State Parks,
                    please feel free to email me.

                    ~Daniel Gant
                    Carpinteria, CA

                    --- In CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com, Oscar Johnson <henicorhina@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi all,
                    >
                    > I just received a second hand report of a Crested Caracara at
                    McGrath State Beach in Ventura. It was seen this morning (5 January)
                    in Area 1 of the state beach, from there it flew north towards the
                    Santa Clara River Estuary, where it appeared to land. The observer was
                    Daniel Gant, a ranger with the state parks. He is a begining birder,
                    but he has some familiarity with the species, and he is confident that
                    it was a Caracara. He also obtained photos, which I will try to get a
                    hold of. He also said the bird was unbanded and appeared to wild.
                    >
                    > Good luck.
                    >
                    > Oscar Johnson
                    > Santa Barbara, CA
                    >
                    >
                    > ---------------------------------
                    > Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about. Just $16.99/mo. or less
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Vic Murayama
                    Pictures of the Crested Caracara that was located in San Ysidro can now be viewed on my website at: http://vtm.smugmug.com/gallery/1875612/1/94369306. Vic
                    Message 9 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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                      Pictures of the Crested Caracara that was located in San Ysidro can
                      now be viewed on my website at:
                      http://vtm.smugmug.com/gallery/1875612/1/94369306.

                      Vic Murayama
                      Chula Vista, CA
                      http://vtm.smugmug.com
                    • doug@basiclink.com
                      The Crested Caracara was at Dairy Mart Ponds as reported this morning. I refound the bird at the IHOP parking lot in the shopping mall parking down the road to
                      Message 10 of 12 , Sep 13, 2006
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                        The Crested Caracara was at Dairy Mart Ponds as reported this morning. I
                        refound the bird at the IHOP parking lot in the shopping mall parking down
                        the road to the east at 7:40 a.m. The directions have been previously
                        posted.


                        Douglas Aguillard
                        San Diego, CA
                        doug@...
                        http://sdbirds.basiclink.com
                      • Jim Roberts
                        This morning (10/12/06) at 11:15 AM, the CRESTED CARACARA was roosting on a snag in the Dairy Mart Ponds (Tijuana River Valley, adjacent to Dairy Mart Road).
                        Message 11 of 12 , Oct 12, 2006
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                          This morning (10/12/06) at 11:15 AM, the CRESTED CARACARA was roosting
                          on a snag in the Dairy Mart Ponds (Tijuana River Valley, adjacent to
                          Dairy Mart Road).

                          Jim Roberts
                          University City
                          San Diego
                        • Ruth Rudesill
                          I just got home from a visit to my relatives in Ft Dick (outside Crescent City, Del Norte Co.) The previously reported Crested Caracara was seen by myself and
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jul 8, 2008
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                            I just got home from a visit to my relatives in Ft Dick (outside Crescent City, Del Norte Co.) The previously reported Crested Caracara was seen by myself and my sister on July 5th in the am.

                            The bird was on Lower Lake Dr near Silva Rd. There is a wildlife pullout overlooking a pond and field ( with American bison and long horned Ethiopian cattle in it!) The caracara was in a snag overlooking the pond and flew over us to land on another snag for good scope views.

                            There were a lot of TVs there and maybe there was a dead cow or something nearby....

                            My Del Norte list has some really great birds on it so this is a welome addition (years ago saw a Gyrfalcon in almost the same spot!)

                            Ruth Rudesill
                            Kenwood CA

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