View Full Version : Wild Critters

01-19-2013, 01:06 PM
Took these yesterday, please enjoy!

Prairie Falcon:


Red-tail Hawk:


Mountain Plover:


San Joaquin Valley Kit Fox (favorite of the day!):


Mystery Hawk: Feel free to suggest a species ID. I apologize for the quality of the pictures, the sun was just rising and I didn't fiddle with any camera settings as I was in a rush to start our survey on time.

Seeing it in person, for only a few seconds, my guess is a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk. Have seen one in the area before, but this could easily have been something else:


01-19-2013, 01:19 PM
Love the fox photo. Great catch. I was this close to buying a Nikon d5100 while my wife was that close to buying a new diamond pendant. Guess who won that deal??? confusedd

Ricky Ortiz
01-19-2013, 01:38 PM
Nice pics man! That redtail has a nice crop ha ha! I miss my camera dang it

01-19-2013, 01:53 PM
Yeah Ricky, I loved that crop :P.

Did you end up having any luck in Porterville?

01-19-2013, 03:55 PM
Guess who won that deal???

How about a compromise? Take a picture of her wearing the diamonds with your new camera, and then put them back in the display case :P.

01-19-2013, 04:30 PM
Too late...she's wearing it as we speak. Besides she's worth it and I'll get the camera anyway. :D

Just wish we had the wildlife subject matter like you have encountered.

01-19-2013, 06:48 PM
It's the Carrizo Plain National Monument, in San Luis Obispo County, CA.

The vast majority of the San Joaquin Valley has been transformed from a post-glacial grassland for agriculture. It's a very productive area.

The Carrizo Plain is at the far southern tip of the valley, and though it has been transformed through severe overgrazing by cattle, a variety of endemic and endangered organisms live there in relative abundance. This includes the kit fox, the giant kangaroo rat, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and who knows how many plants.

I worked for a summer as a research intern there doing radio telemetry on the giant kangaroo rats, among other things, and fell in love with it after I realized how many raptors reside/visit/breed there. Owls and diurnal raptors alike are doing very well here.

For 2 years since the kangaroo rat research I've been volunteering for a winter migrant raptor survey. I don't know where else ferruginous hawks visit in California in abundance, but they're on the Carrizo in decent numbers.

I plan to focus my master's research on the raptors here, but haven't exactly settled on any plans yet. All my big ideas seem to be very expensive, so I'll probably scale down a little, or figure out a way to collect lots of meaningful data efficiently.

Ricky Ortiz
01-19-2013, 10:44 PM
Yeah Ricky, I loved that crop :P.

Did you end up having any luck in Porterville?

Nah it was a bust hit a couple fields both looked really good but yielded not bunnies.

01-20-2013, 11:18 AM
Very nice Alex! Very nice!