The Drought and Red Tailed Hawks

I know that we all have been affected by the drought and that we will continue to be impacted well into the future. But, here is one thing that bothers me about the drought that you may not be aware of or perhaps even knew.

Central California is the wintering grounds for many Red-Tailed hawks from more extreme climates. Coupled with our year round resident Red-tailed hawks, they become a pleasurable and frequent sight, easily seen throughout the area, often along the highways we travel to the Central Valley. However, this year the seasonal Red-Tailed hawks did not moving into our area for wintering. They were comfortable staying where they were this winter.

Sometimes referred to as the “default raptor” because it is the most wide spread hawk in the US, the Red-Tailed hawk prefers to nest in high places. So, when you see a hawk, assume that it is a Red-Tailed hawk. If you are pretty sure it is not, figure out why it isn’t first and then go on to identify what other type of hawk you looking at. Arriba Vista Ranch usually has at least one Red-tailed hawk that hangs out up at the towers and one on the power poles in the pasture.
Growing up in the Sacramento Valley and moving to the Bay Area in 1961, I have had tons of pleasure watching the Red-tailed hawks. I miss them this year.