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Notes from the field: Great Horned Owls

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A Great Horned Owl from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA.

A Great Horned Owl from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA.

Female Great Horned Owl.
Every evening between 4:30pm and 5:30pm the male and female Great Horned Owls will rendezvous in a tree near the nest. Before they rendezvous they communicate. The male does not seem to be allowed near the nest when their are babies in it. And right now their are two baby Great Horned Owls in Golden Gate Park. The good news, is, that the Owl nest is not near an area that can be accessible to those who fear the trees and the forest. Or not accessible to tourists and looky-lou’s, so maybe they will get to be truly wild. Their nest is also in the top part of the tree canopy. Not in the lower part of the tree canopy. However they are fair game for the Ravens.

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Vandals destroying wildlife habitats in Golden Gate Park

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Hacked by a vandal

Tree limb hacked by vandals

Wildlife habitat attracts tourists

Wildlife habitat attracts tourists, children and parents

A wildlife habitat is being vandalized in Golden Gate Park.

Hacked by a vandal

Other wildlife I encountered on the Virginia Range in Nevada

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There were other wildlife I spotted while I was hiking on the Virginia Range in Nevada.

A Great Basin Collared lizard.

Collared Lizard

And a jackrabbit.

Jackrabbit

Wild Horses on the Virginia Range in Nevada

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I photographed and observed the wild horses on the Virginia Range for 3 days. Temps were in the 100’s, and the Virginia Range is a riparian forest or desert. The Virginia Range is mostly private property. I watched the wild horses, live, play, fight, socialize and I even watched one die. They are very affectionate animals and they always took the time to observe me.

A few facts about horses:

  1. Scientific name: Equus ferus caballus
  2. Lifespan: 25 – 30 y
  3. Mass: 500 kg on average (Adult)
  4. Speed: 40 – 48 km/h (Galloping), 19 – 24 km/h (Canter), 6.4 km/h on average (Walk), 13 – 19 km/h (Trot)
    Wild Horses on the Virginia Range

    I watched this one die. It was walking awkwardly, so I stopped and watched it for a while. He then suddenly laid down on the ground hard, let out a squeal, and then he stopped breathing.

    I watched this one die. It was walking awkwardly, so I stopped and watched it for a while. He then suddenly laid down on the ground hard, let out a squeal, and then he stopped breathing.

    Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range After a monsoon IMG_2461 Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range Wild Horses on the Virginia Range
    Baby horse with the momma.

    Baby horse with the momma.

Coyote Encounters on the Virginia Range in Nevada

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I encountered several Coyotes while exploring, scouting-for and or discovering the wildlife on the Virginia Range in Nevada. I cannot give up the exact location, but they live amongst wild horses, free range cattle, and heavy truck and or auto traffic east of Reno Nevada.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a  Coyote.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a Coyote.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a Coyote.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a Coyote.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a Coyote.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a Coyote.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a  Coyote.

Went out to photograph wild horses, and also met a Coyote.

Taking the High Road!

Taking the High Road!

Hopefully I saved a raptors life today.

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So I was sitting in my usual spot in Golden Gate Park when suddenly beside me branches, a pine cone and a body came crashing to the ground. I immediately noticed the body was that of a raptor. It had feathers but no wings. The bird had fallen approx. 50 feet from it’s nest in the tree, but it was still alive. I immediately went into action, and called the Park Rangers. They transferred me to Animal Care and Control, who responded in minutes. I led them to the bird and they took it away. It appeared to be a baby hawk/raptor. Sometimes the adults will throw out the babies who they think may not live. But I felt it was worth getting that bird help.

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Update: called Animal Care and Control and they said the raptor was bleeding from its mouth and was not breathing normally so they had to euthanize it.

A video about my experience. Baby Raptor

Do Not Feed the wildlife sign vandalized.

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Sheesh that sign has only been up approx. 2 months and someone has already vandalized it.

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