Good Morning Barbara and Fellow River Lovers,
I could hear the CROWS complaining from far away as I was walking to the River Point. Stepping up to the railing I saw aprox. 25 CROWS lining the shoreline, wailing their protest to high heaven. Only after scanning the scene more closely did I discover the reason for their revolt: the OSPREY was in the water cleaning its talons on the sand in the water. The CROWS were beside themselves, because the OSPREY was beyond their attack reach since they don’t go in the water beyond their ‘ankles’ and flying low over the water isn’t part of their attack repertoire. When the cleaning was completed the OSPREY flew to the top of a roof and the CROWS were ecstatic: finally they were able to bomb-dive their perceived threat, who could have cared less about their hysteric behavior. The CROWS came to their senses, landed next to the unperturbed OSPREY and they all quietly surveyed the view.
It’s so interesting to read your insights about the CROWS. My observations of them have been very unpleasant and disturbing, leading me to admit that I detest them. This state of mind always surprises people, but it’s a fact: some birders have strong bird species likes and dislikes. The CROWS increasing presence along the river is fostering the decline of the rodent control, because the HAWK species are prevented from hunting due to being chased off by the CROWS. This not only impacts the adult HAWKS survival, but their fledglings as well. Plus CROWS are raiding songbirds nest and eat ducklings. I guess we represent the two sides of the CROW coin…
The Santa Cruz Climate Change March carried me along its ‘river’ ebb and flow. Connecting with people, who love this planet and the environment, was exalting and easy, creating wonderful interactions that will be forever housed in my heart. One of these connections got triggered by complimenting a t-shirt message and a lively conversation ensued. It turned out that the owner of the shirt and his wife were from the small conservative town Greeley, Colorado. His wife disclosed that he owned several of the notable t-shirts, which he wore to his weekly Saturday protest on the stairs of the Court House. Bob started his protest after he fulfilled his mother wish to drive her to a place where she could watch the current President’s inauguration. After he dropped her off, he went straight to the Court House stairs to protest against the President. Now the ongoing demonstration has grown into the famed group called ‘Court House Steps’. It was splendid that Bob and Mary marched with their grandchildren in the Santa Cruz “Climate Strike”, giving me a chance to hear their unusual story.
Last Sunday morning I had a much needed river moment that wiped out my ‘to-do’ tasks and my daily worries, because I was happily absorbed watching the peaceful gathering of foraging birds by the Trestle bridge rocks. The SPOTTED SANDPIPER skittered around on the slippery rocks that proved treacherous for the GOLDEN-crowned SPARROW, who almost slid into the water. 2 AMERICAN COOTS and a group of MALLARDS were nibbling on the rock algae. The GREAT BLUE HERON, SNOWY EGRET and 10 CORMORANTS were harvesting fish from the river. The BLACK PHOEBE was raking the air for flying insects. I was grateful for that bird life scene, because I had been funk-ish since that Thursday levee walk with the Planning and Economic Departments. The Front St. river elopement was addressed, which breaks my heart with its 75 feet height, which surely will impact the river habitats. The universe was clearly on my side when it sent the man, who stopped to listen to the talk and then said that the river had such a rich wildlife that would be pushed out with that development.
Wishing you exalting, diverse river moments, jane