Creature Feature Compilation November 2021

Lea Eider, Coastal Programs Intern

Red Tailed Hawk

(Buteo Jamaicensis)

The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the most common hawks in North America. They are also one of the largest birds on the continent, with a large adult female weighing roughly 3 pounds. These birds have a highly variable diet, but they most often feed on small mammals such as rodents. They can live in a wide variety of habitats, such as deserts, forests, grasslands, and urban areas. In most cases, when you hear the cry of an eagle or hawk in a movie, no matter the species, you are hearing the distinctive scream of the Red-tailed Hawk.
Adults can be identified a few ways such as by their dark patagial mark, rusty red tail, dark iris, white “V” on back, “beefy” body shape, and they feathers don’t reach toes.
Photos: Wendy Miller, Veit_Stan Lupo, and Henry T. McLin on Flickr.

California Slender Salamander

(Batrachoseps attenuatus) or hlkerrwers in the Yurok language.

This is a type of lungless salamander primarily found in Northern California.
These salamanders are active on the ground during wet weather, and at this time they can be found under logs and in other damp environments. They retreat underground in hot or dry weather.

When feeling threatened, they may coil up into a tight spiral or detach their tails, which will regrow within 1-3 years.

Batrachoseps attenuates ( and California slender salamander (Wikipedia)
Photos: Marshall Hedin and Greg Schechter on Flickr

Black-Necked Stilts

(Himantopus mexicanus)

These American shorebirds have long thin legs, slim wings, and a needle-like bill. They primarily feed on insects or crustaceans that they scoop out of water or air. They are social birds that nest together in colonies. When their nests are threatened, these birds may participate in a “popcorn display,” grouping around a predator and jumping or flapping their wings at it in an attempt to drive it away. You can find them in environments with shallow water, like mudflats, salt pans, and salt marshes.

Black-necked Stilt–, Black-necked Stilt Identification–All About Birds, and Black-necked Stilt–Wikipedia
Photos: _Veit_ on Flickr