Elfin Forest Birds today


Jim Royer
 

I was out at the Elfin Forest this morning and had some interesting birds and bird behavior. Shorebirds of interest included a Ruddy Turnstone and four Red Knots. It was a fair morning for migration with two flocks of swallows passing over the bay (all Violet-green with one Tree Swallow), a number of warblers - mostly Butter-butts, with some Townsend’s, a Yellow, and Orange-crowneds.

We watched Two Peregrines soar high into the sky before one made a screaming fast dive toward the estuary and hit a Pintail. A young harrier acted interested in the prey, and the two Peregrines harassed it non-stop until it backed off. Meanwhile, the injured duck was trying to fly away, but couldn’t get far before the Peregrines returned and finished it off. After the peregrines were done eating, they flew around below us and chased off a surprised Red-shouldered Hawk. Several vultures flew in to feed on the carcass along with a Great Blue Heron! I had never seen a Great Blue Heron feeding on carrion before. Has anyone else?

Jim Royer
Los Osos


Chris Van Beveren
 

Great story - I would think one Peregrine would be unable to deal with a fat Pintail, but two of them. Have you ever seen them hunt as a pair before?

My daughter told me a bird experience she had this week. She walks a path near the bay a couple of miles south of SFO airport while one of her kids is in a practice. About 8pm she heard a loud Splat! and looked around to where it had come from, possibly the back door of a nearby restaurant, when another Splat! This one she could tell was overhead. She looked up and counted not one, or two, but 14 Great Blue Herons roosting. and pooping.



Chris Van Beveren

565 Baywood Way

Los Osos CA 93402





becktravel@...

On Saturday, October 9, 2021, 04:15:25 PM PDT, Jim Royer <jrmotmot@...> wrote:


I was out at the Elfin Forest this morning and had some interesting birds and bird behavior. Shorebirds of interest included a Ruddy Turnstone and four Red Knots. It was a fair morning for migration with two flocks of swallows passing over the bay (all Violet-green with one Tree Swallow), a number of warblers - mostly Butter-butts, with some Townsend’s, a Yellow, and Orange-crowneds.

We watched Two Peregrines soar high into the sky before one made a screaming fast dive toward the estuary and hit a Pintail. A young harrier acted interested in the prey, and the two Peregrines harassed it non-stop until it backed off. Meanwhile, the injured duck was trying to fly away, but couldn’t get far before the Peregrines returned and finished it off. After the peregrines were done eating, they flew around below us and chased off a surprised Red-shouldered Hawk. Several vultures flew in to feed on the carcass along with a Great Blue Heron! I had never seen a Great Blue Heron feeding on carrion before. Has anyone else?

Jim Royer
Los Osos


Mark Mushkat
 

Regrettably, in  2017  I witnessed two peregrines work in tandem to take the acclaimed Ross’s Gull in Half Moon Bay. The hunt lasted less than 15 seconds. 

On an equally pleasant note, Buddhist monks, 2500 years ago, were encouraged to visit open air sites where corpses were left. Studying decomposition and feeding by herons and vultures was meant to be instructive re: attachment and impermanence. 

Happy thoughts all! 

Mark

ps, good birding to you

On Oct 9, 2021, at 6:05 PM, Chris Van Beveren via groups.io <becktravel@...> wrote:


Great story - I would think one Peregrine would be unable to deal with a fat Pintail, but two of them. Have you ever seen them hunt as a pair before?

My daughter told me a bird experience she had this week. She walks a path near the bay a couple of miles south of SFO airport while one of her kids is in a practice. About 8pm she heard a loud Splat! and looked around to where it had come from, possibly the back door of a nearby restaurant, when another Splat! This one she could tell was overhead. She looked up and counted not one, or two, but 14 Great Blue Herons roosting. and pooping.



Chris Van Beveren

565 Baywood Way

Los Osos CA 93402





becktravel@...

On Saturday, October 9, 2021, 04:15:25 PM PDT, Jim Royer <jrmotmot@...> wrote:


I was out at the Elfin Forest this morning and had some interesting birds and bird behavior. Shorebirds of interest included a Ruddy Turnstone and four Red Knots. It was a fair morning for migration with two flocks of swallows passing over the bay (all Violet-green with one Tree Swallow), a number of warblers - mostly Butter-butts, with some Townsend’s, a Yellow, and Orange-crowneds.

We watched Two Peregrines soar high into the sky before one made a screaming fast dive toward the estuary and hit a Pintail. A young harrier acted interested in the prey, and the two Peregrines harassed it non-stop until it backed off. Meanwhile, the injured duck was trying to fly away, but couldn’t get far before the Peregrines returned and finished it off. After the peregrines were done eating, they flew around below us and chased off a surprised Red-shouldered Hawk. Several vultures flew in to feed on the carcass along with a Great Blue Heron! I had never seen a Great Blue Heron feeding on carrion before. Has anyone else?

Jim Royer
Los Osos


rebeccacoulter
 

Regarding herons eating carrion: this past Wednesday my birding class watched a Peregrine bring in a rock pigeon from the pier at Goleta Beach (SB County), land on a snag over the sandbar and eat most of it. When the Peregrine had flown off, a Great Egret landed next to the carcass still dangling on a horizontal limb of the snag. The egret inspected the carcass but I never saw it take a piece of meat.  There were no other herons or egrets in the trees, it seemed to have specifically flown up there to check it out. Interesting, and I had never seen that either. Maybe there just wasn’t enough left to be worthwhile.

Rebecca Coulter
Santa Barbara 

On Oct 9, 2021, at 4:15 PM, Jim Royer <jrmotmot@...> wrote:

I was out at the Elfin Forest this morning and had some interesting birds and bird behavior. Shorebirds of interest included a Ruddy Turnstone and four Red Knots. It was a fair morning for migration with two flocks of swallows passing over the bay (all Violet-green with one Tree Swallow), a number of warblers - mostly Butter-butts, with some Townsend’s, a Yellow, and Orange-crowneds.

We watched Two Peregrines soar high into the sky before one made a screaming fast dive toward the estuary and hit a Pintail. A young harrier acted interested in the prey, and the two Peregrines harassed it non-stop until it backed off. Meanwhile, the injured duck was trying to fly away, but couldn’t get far before the Peregrines returned and finished it off. After the peregrines were done eating, they flew around below us and chased off a surprised Red-shouldered Hawk. Several vultures flew in to feed on the carcass along with a Great Blue Heron! I had never seen a Great Blue Heron feeding on carrion before. Has anyone else?

Jim Royer
Los Osos


Mike Bush
 

Hi All - 

Carrion is decaying flesh. 

What's been described in this thread is simply fresh meat.

Mike Bush
Los Osos

On Sat, Oct 9, 2021, 22:16 rebeccacoulter <rfcphoebe@...> wrote:
Regarding herons eating carrion: this past Wednesday my birding class watched a Peregrine bring in a rock pigeon from the pier at Goleta Beach (SB County), land on a snag over the sandbar and eat most of it. When the Peregrine had flown off, a Great Egret landed next to the carcass still dangling on a horizontal limb of the snag. The egret inspected the carcass but I never saw it take a piece of meat.  There were no other herons or egrets in the trees, it seemed to have specifically flown up there to check it out. Interesting, and I had never seen that either. Maybe there just wasn’t enough left to be worthwhile.

Rebecca Coulter
Santa Barbara 

On Oct 9, 2021, at 4:15 PM, Jim Royer <jrmotmot@...> wrote:

I was out at the Elfin Forest this morning and had some interesting birds and bird behavior. Shorebirds of interest included a Ruddy Turnstone and four Red Knots. It was a fair morning for migration with two flocks of swallows passing over the bay (all Violet-green with one Tree Swallow), a number of warblers - mostly Butter-butts, with some Townsend’s, a Yellow, and Orange-crowneds.

We watched Two Peregrines soar high into the sky before one made a screaming fast dive toward the estuary and hit a Pintail. A young harrier acted interested in the prey, and the two Peregrines harassed it non-stop until it backed off. Meanwhile, the injured duck was trying to fly away, but couldn’t get far before the Peregrines returned and finished it off. After the peregrines were done eating, they flew around below us and chased off a surprised Red-shouldered Hawk. Several vultures flew in to feed on the carcass along with a Great Blue Heron! I had never seen a Great Blue Heron feeding on carrion before. Has anyone else?

Jim Royer
Los Osos