Types of birds that can be found in Poly Canyon and throughout San Luis Obispo




Дата канвертавання25.04.2016
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Types of birds that can be found in Poly Canyon and throughout San Luis Obispo
Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus

Gadwall Anas strepera

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis

Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia

Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura

Allen's Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin

Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor

Bank Swallow Riparia riparia

Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris

California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum

Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus

Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus

Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens

Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus

House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus

American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia

Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi

Hermit Warbler Dendroica occidentalis

Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla

Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana

Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus

Day in the life of a Poly Canyon Crow


I'd like to tell you a little bit about my life. My name is Melvin, and I'm a crow. I've lived here in Poly Canyon all my life. I think you'd be surprised how much a crow like me deals with on a daily basis......

As I'm sure you've heard, we crows are well known for being quite clever, and although I don't usually toot my own beak, I'll share with you some common crow knowledge and try to give you a better understanding of my complex world! Now, whenever I feel like a hot breakfast I go for the more conventional insect- like a nice big grasshopper or maybe even a small reptile, but you do have to get up early for those. Sometimes I'd much rather not have to catch my breakfast. You might be surprised but I'd say only 28 percent of the food I eat is animal in origin. I prefer to keep a vegetable diet, nuts are good, whatever grows wild near the canyon. I do have a great secret for cracking open nuts, maybe you should try it sometime...you see humans have this stuff called cement. They put it ALL over the place! All you have to do is fly up high, and drop your walnut. CRACK! Wow. It just cracks right open on the cement. Most other birds don't know about this trick, they are just not as bright. We crows are best at adjusting to our surroundings.



Now, I have heard from those jabbering Blue Jays that the Agriculture department isn’t too happy with us picking through their crops. Truth is, we don't really damage crops too much; in fact, we benefit them in more ways. I've told the Barn Swallows a thousand times that if the farmers keep trying to drive us away, their stuff is just going to get eaten by the bugs. They know what I am talking about, for a while the swallows were having trouble nesting in the barns. Those pesky people kept scraping away their homes! The humans finally came to their senses and realized that barn swallows eat more then half their body weight in flies and mosquitoes a day! So it was obviously a good method of pest control, and all they had to deal with is a little mud from the nests-No big deal if you ask me. Humans don't seem to make these connections very well. If you get scared away by farmers you can always find a snack in the garbage cans on Cal Poly’s campus. Humans are always sharing their food with us. I know many a crow that doesn't even try to hunt their own meals. They just find a food place on campus and have their choice. Personally it makes me sick, humans are horrible chefs.

Now what I don't understand is why us scavengers always get a bad rap? If we were not around there would be dead things rotting all over the place! Yeah, that would really be a lot of wasted food! Now similar to many of my fellow birds, my day starts with the rise of the sun. Humans are the laziest creatures I've ever seen. They throw shoes at us when we begin our morning chat with one another. How rude! Obviously, they don't understand the importance of communication between fellow crows. After all, our calls indicate danger, or food. Contact is just critically important to the psyche of our species. Nevertheless, since we begin our day at the hint of dawn until dark, those humans don't seem to favor us as animals friends in suburbia. As for Cal Poly students, well they keep us up at night with their crazy human antics. It's only fair that we keep them up too. We do have far bigger things to worry about then crazy freshman antics at night. There are some pretty scary predators that would enjoy a crow like me for dinner! No other predator causes greater alarm and concern among us than what we call, a "flying tiger"; and for good reason! Owls take good advantage of our habit of spending the night in large, communal roosts. Moving in on silent wings under the cover of darkness, a horned owl easily moves from perch to perch, casually plucking off crows right and left. With such easy pickings, the owl rips the head off his unfortunate victim, swallows it in one gulp, and moves along, discarding the rest. After a couple crows have been “munched on”, the satisfied "tiger" departs, leaving the rest of us, as one may imagine, in a somewhat terrified state. Now don't get all freaked out, it's just the food chain. It happens to the best of us. Why, my cousin Freddy was just eaten by one of those large metal creatures that moves along the cement. You know the ones I am talking about? They are big, smelly, noisy and they can move darn fast! They usually help us get many of our road-side snacks. I'd better be going now, it is springtime after all, and I have eggs to attend to. Stop by and meet the four hatchlings if you want, they should be ready in 18 days or so. We’ve moved to the nest cluster in one of the big Oaks up Poly Canyon Road. We have a great view! Just listen for the loud "Caaawwing", you can't miss it.


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