Red-tailed Hawk and Raptor Real Estate: Room With a View
The Great Valley is a great place for raptors. Despite the intense disruption of the natural landscape, they've benefited in some ways. For one, they have received the gift of thousands of potential nesting sites in the form of telephone/electricity transmission lines. I spotted a couple of Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) on Claribel Road east of Modesto this week, but even more, I spotted lots of nests in the power transmission lines. As nest after nest passed by, I couldn't help but wonder about the sales pitch from a Raptor real estate agent...you can perhaps even imagine the kind of look they give one of their potential customers. Like that look in the picture above...
"Claribel Road is a fine neighborhood for raising a raptor family! We have housing available for every kind of need! And every one has a great view! We've got lots of single family dwellings like the one below..."
"Oh, not quite in your budget? Maybe we can save you a few bucks (or does) with a duplex. As an aside, though, can I suggest you go for the top one? It gets a little messy below sometimes..."
"Still not in your budget? Well...we do have a condominium complex at this tower. I've gotta warn you about those lower floors again. The bottom floor...yuck!"
"Not interested in sharing space with neighbors? May you should consider a do-it-yourselfer, like that family down there. You get to choose your own decor!"
"And there's also that fixer-upper down there. They sure let that place go. It's gonna take a lot of work..."
"Wait! You've been holding out on me! You can afford any place you want? Well, here we go, the mansion! The biggest place on the block! You might have some trouble convincing the current owners to leave, though..."
Next time, maybe we'll take a look at the Osprey nests that have popped up all around here.