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Security is…neighborhood watch

June 11, 2010

Neighborhood raptor watch, that is. What better way to keep the rodent population of your ‘hood under control than to invite a few raptors to roost, or better yet, to nest next door?
Well, my only encouragement has been mental, but this late spring you can see two nests a block or so away from my residence. In a eucalyptus just north of Alta Ave on 7th St. in Santa Monica there is a Cooper’s Hawk nest about 80 feet above the sidewalk. (look for tell-tale white marks on the sidewalk!) Best time to observe the juveniles seems to be before 7:30AM. there are three and mom seems to favor a perch on the utility east of 7th St.
Our latest discovery, when we saw sidewalk pellets on Marguerita Ave, was an owl nest. We cheered a week ago when we saw what looked like the silhouette of a Great Horned Owl a block away at dusk. We hadn’t seen a GHO in our neighborhood for at least 15 years. But this evening at about 8:20 we went to look at the Canary Island Palm in the parkway in front of 532 Marguerita and saw three Barn Owls, one of them quite large!
That should keep a few rodent families from growing too quickly.

Note: both nests will probably be inactive within 10-15 days from the look of the juveniles.

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