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June 13, 2003

Kites are fun

The trees across the street from our house have four white-tailed kites in them now. We were treated to a show tonight: a pair flew toward us, hovered over our front yard while grasping talons. And then another showed up, and then another. I had thought the tall pines held a breeding pair, but it looks as though we may have a communal roost on our hands.

Our neighbor Helen came across the street rather excitedly a few minutes later: a great egret had landed in the eucalyptus at the end of the block, perched a hundred feet up. We're piecing together a bit of a history of our neighborhood, told in tufts of fur and pawprints: Helen explained that our neighborhod feral cat population had plunged from a few years back with the advent of what she called a "grandpaw raccoon." She found a partially eaten cat on her step not long ago. We remembered that the oak out back bore a desiccated strip of black and white fur atop one of its limbs last year.

The barn owls get a few kittens each year as well. Naomi, another neighbor, says the one that's been haunting our yard the last few nights has been around for years — or at least is the latest in a long line. The utility pole at the corner of our property was once a favored owl roost.

Posted by Chris Clarke at June 13, 2003 08:50 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs