Raptors & John Muir

Last evening while a good friend and I were in the John Muir National Historic Site for a glimpse of the full moon rising over Mt. Diablo, we met up with a Park Ranger who was going to lead a moonlight walk in the hills adjacent to the homesite. He mentioned to us that there was a particularly large Live Oak tree called “Wanda’s Oak” or “TenTrees” near Mt. Wanda (named for one of Miur’s daughters). It’s an impressive specimen to be sure with it’s first lateral branch 11′ in diameter. While photographing it we saw a hawk (likely a immature Cooper’s Hawk [Accipiter cooperii] )land nearby and it appeared to have caught a vole. To our astonishment, when it was finished it flew nearer intent on a second vole which it missed. The third time was a charm and brought him into the open where we could get a look. Then as we were setting up on Mt. Wanda, a white tailed Kite started to hunt nearby. The full moon was nice but being in the presence of these two magnificent birds was a treat.

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