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RichardK

Tarantula and Hawk

We were in Chino Hills Park today.  We saw the first tarantula of their mating season.  Soon the hills will be alive with giant, horny spiders. I managed to get a decent picture of a hawk. Does anyone know the species?



Uncle Rico

I'd say that's a Turkey Vulture Richard. Nice shot.
RichardK

Vulture

Thanks for the ID, Rico. The red head reminded me of the turkey vultures we have seen in the Crystal Cove area. Those birds had large, numbered tags on their wings.
atomicoyote

Definately a vulture.    Do you have any pictures of the 'vultures' with wing tags that you saw around Crystal Cove?  That's kind of unusual to tag a common bird like a vulture, so I'd think its something else.  California condors are tagged when released back into the wild, but the closest release areas for them are Central California and NW Arizona.
tracker

There's tagged condors cruising around that pass through LA County. A couple years ago they were hanging around the top of Kagel Canyon, (above Sylmar) where the hang gliders used to fly. They are seen around Castaic and Lancaster too,
The tagged condors will have a short antenna coming out of the wrist area on both wings too, if you ever seen one.
Mike P

tracker wrote:
There's tagged condors cruising around that pass through LA County. A couple years ago they were hanging around the top of Kagel Canyon, (above Sylmar) where the hang gliders used to fly. They are seen around Castaic and Lancaster too,
The tagged condors will have a short antenna coming out of the wrist area on both wings too, if you ever seen one.


Are these condors just sagging down from Ventura and Kern counties or are they setting up shop a little closer to the San Gabes?
tracker

Every now and then they get tired of government-provided stillborn calf, and they venture south and east. I don't think they have ever "set up shop" very far from the feed stations.
The folks that track them chit-chat on the Cibola NWA VHF frequency when they are working - if anyone is a scanner buff.
atomicoyote

tracker wrote:
There's tagged condors cruising around that pass through LA County. A couple years ago they were hanging around the top of Kagel Canyon, (above Sylmar) where the hang gliders used to fly. They are seen around Castaic and Lancaster too,
The tagged condors will have a short antenna coming out of the wrist area on both wings too, if you ever seen one.


Interesting - I thought the authorities had stopped releasing condors in the Ventura/Sespe area due to the amount of lead buckshot they were consuming in the carrion they were feeding on.  Don't know if they went and captured all that were still flying round in So Calif., but it would be cool if one was flying around the Crystal Cove/San Joaquin Hills area in South Ornage County.
tracker

It's cool to see one in person. As a kid I saw a couple on Mt. Pinos, then I didn't see any until they started releasing the captive-bred batch.
Sad I think that bird has more problems than buckshot.
RichardK

Tagged birds

These birds were seen in Crystal Cove on 5/17/2008.  From reviewing the pictures, I'm not sure if every bird has a tag, but at least one did. I remember more than one, but only one shows in my pictures.





Mike P

Re: Tagged birds

RichardK wrote:
These birds were seen in Crystal Cove on 5/17/2008.  From reviewing the pictures, I'm not sure if every bird has a tag, but at least one did. I remember more than one, but only one shows in my pictures.


Look like TVs...
HikeUp

Re: Tagged birds

Mike P wrote:
RichardK wrote:
These birds were seen in Crystal Cove on 5/17/2008.  From reviewing the pictures, I'm not sure if every bird has a tag, but at least one did. I remember more than one, but only one shows in my pictures.


Look like TVs...

I concur. Odd to tag a Turkey Vulture. Hmmm...curious.
atomicoyote

Definately looks like a tagged vulture.  But is that really a tracking tag, or a new form of Adventure Pass for birds - no telling what schemes the local forest service administrators are concocting to bring in more $$$.  Wink
atomicoyote

Definately looks like a tagged vulture.  But is that really a tracking tag, or a new form of Adventure Pass for birds - no telling what schemes the local forest service administrators are concocting to bring in more $$$.  Wink
tracker

atomicoyote wrote:
Definately looks like a tagged vulture.  But is that really a tracking tag, or a new form of Adventure Pass for birds - no telling what schemes the local forest service administrators are concocting to bring in more $$$.  Wink

                                    Laughing      

The USGS and maybe others are catching TV's and taking blood samples. The experts are trying to figure out why two critters with similar physiology's and identical diets, (condors and TV's) have such different reactions to lead in their bloodstream. The other mystery is where the lead is coming from since it was banned in hunting ammo in the condor's range several years ago.
cougarmagic

tracker wrote:
The other mystery is where the lead is coming from since it was banned in hunting ammo in the condor's range several years ago.


I would hazard a guess that the lead is coming from people who don't see a need to spend more money for lead-free bullets.  I met a 'hunter' in Tar Creek a couple years ago, he was out of season and didn't speak much English.  I'd assume he was not up on the latest in condor conservation either.
arocknoid

Research findings specific for Turkey Vulture vs. California Condor sensitivity to lead include :

(excerpt from Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2003, citation of original study:

Lead-induced mortality appears to have been a major factor in the decline of the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus). We orally dosed turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) with BB-sized lead shot from January 1988 through July 1988 to determine physiologic response (delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase inhibition, erythrocyte protoporphyrin levels, anemia), diagnostic tissue lead concentrations (blood, liver, and kidney), and comparative sensitivity of this species. Two turkey vultures died and two became so intoxicated they were euthanized. Overall, responses of measured parameters were comparable to other species exposed to lead although there was considerable individual variation. Survival time (143-211 days), even with the large numbers of shot and constant redosing, was much longer than reported for other species of birds, suggesting considerable tolerance by turkey vultures to the deleterious effects of lead ingestion. Based on these observations, turkey vultures appear to be poor models for assessing the risk of lead poisoning to California condors or predicting their physiologic response.)

Good overall assessment here:

http://www.ventanaws.org/Lead_poi..._endangered_California_Condor.pdf

pdf of pub:  www.pnas.org/cdi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1203141109

Finkelstein et al

AB 711 has passed both Calif. Senate and Assembly; awaits signature of Gov. Brown (bans lead ammo for all hunting throughout Calif.)

Also, read up on the latest findings re: DDT and shell fragility/low hatch rates (all over again!! Thank you Montrose!! PV /offshore superfund site...)
tracker

cougarmagic wrote:
tracker wrote:
The other mystery is where the lead is coming from since it was banned in hunting ammo in the condor's range several years ago.


I would hazard a guess that the lead is coming from people who don't see a need to spend more money for lead-free bullets.  I met a 'hunter' in Tar Creek a couple years ago, he was out of season and didn't speak much English.  I'd assume he was not up on the latest in condor conservation either.

I call it a mystery because despite what everyone may think, compliance from legal hunters is about 99.99%. But like you pointed out, there is an element out there, (and a large one at that) that is clueless and carefree. No law(s) or level of enforcement will change that.
QuestionI have to wonder how expanding the ban on lead hunting ammo to areas the condor has never been and never will be will change anything. A couple years ago two unfledged chicks died due to their parents bringing back "micro-trash" back to the nest and feeding it to them. In addition to the bottle caps and glass fragments there were aluminum pull tabs- not made since the late'70's, if I recall correctly.

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