urban wildlife

Back at one of my new favorite walks around Lake Temescal in Oakland, California, I was amazed to find the wildlife there so habituated to human traffic.  Apparently, people don’t try to bother or scare them, so the birds sit very still and just watch us walk by. We passed within six feet of this Black-crowned Night Heron, and the grandkids were not particularly quiet about seeing it either.

black-crowned night heron-

I’m liking my smart phone more and more as my go-to camera when out for a walk with the grandkids (instead of a regular photo hike).

At the other end of the lake from the Night Heron was a “gulp” of double-crested cormorants, or you could say, a “fllght, rookery, sunning, or swim” of them — such are the collective nouns for a group of Cormorants.

double-crested cormorants-

Three of the “gulp” found a raised platform in the lake on which to rest in between dives. Any surface projecting from the water will do as a sunning and drying-off place.  

Perhaps “sunning of cormorants” is a better descriptor of the group, since each time they get out of the water, they spread their wings and turn toward the sun to dry off.

Even the Wood Ducks are tame here, and quietly paddle around their small pond, not flying away the minute they spot you.  I wonder how long it takes wild animals to become as habituated to human presence as they have here — and why don’t the animals in my backyard let me approach this closely??

3 thoughts on “urban wildlife

  1. Interesting! I know when I lived in Seattle, the crows didn’t fly off until you were about 3 feet from them; otherwise they just gave you a withering glance or ignored you. But now that I live 12 miles away in a suburb bordering on countryside, where there are no sidewalks and I rarely meet anyone out walking, crows take off when you’re still across the street from them. (And it’s not because they get shot at here–no shooting within city limits!) I guess they just don’t have the “familiarity breeds contempt” that city crows have.

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