Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday at Bolsa Chica

It was a warm and sunny morning at Bolsa Chica today. The highlight of my walk was seeing this peregrine in the trees on the mesa near where the great blue herons are beginning to nest. A few days ago I found the remains of a green winged teal on the path around the wetlands. It was probably this bird that ate the teal. Another common name for peregrines is "duck hawk" because they prefer to catch and eat birds the size of ducks and other shorebirds. One afternoon I was walking below the mesa near the pocket wetlands when I looked up because a shower of feathers was raining down. There was a peregrine in the tree above me tearing apart what might have been an American wigeon.I have also seen a peregrine eating a black necked stilt at Bolsa Chica.
This is a male and female green winged teal. They are small dabbling ducks that filter mud for algae and small invertebrates. Ducks like these teal are light enough that they can burst into the air from a stationary position, unlike heavier ducks which run along on the water prior to take off.
Remains on the footpath.

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