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Wild Things at PVE

In the three years that I’ve resided at PVE, I have seen various birds and animals that make living here enjoyable. The courtyard in which I live offers a view of oak trees and a mountainside where I occasionally see deer among the grazing cows.


Sunrise at PVE


Sunrise is the best time to view animals and birds. There are black phoebes (flycatchers) that constantly work the courtyard and also numerous house finches. A flock of cedar waxwings after berries ingratiated my view. Scrub jays also attack the berry bushes outside my window and birders have told me that the jays get intoxicated devouring the berries. One of my favorite birds to view is the red shafted flicker. I’ve seen flickers here at PVE, but they are rare because they, like the California quail, are ground feeders, and I have seen cats wondering around the campus.

While playing bocce ball, I sometimes see acorn woodpeckers. Anna’s hummingbirds feed on nectar from the Queen of the Nile flowers outside my window. Besides the soaring turkey vultures, I’ve seen various raptorial birds, mostly red tail hawks. On a walk by the PVE vacant lot, I have seen numerous American white pelicans flying in loose formation, using the updrafts to propel themselves over the mountain and to the lagoon lake on the other side. They light up the sky when they all turn toward the sun.


He looks a bit like a wide-eyed clown, doesn’t he?


There is an abundance of waterfowl that use the lagoon. I was having lunch out on my patio recently when I spotted a white object on one of the large oak trees. With my binoculars, I watched it for a lengthy time. It would fly off and then return to the same branch. Then it looked in my direction with its large yellow eyes—a snowy owl—a first sighting. It was definitely out of its territory and migration route, but I have seen birds before out of their normal range boundaries.


Younger Snowy Owls start with darker plumage that becomes lighter as they get older.


The Wildlife Animal Rehabilitation Center is on Grizzly Kellogg Street—the same street where Bab’s Restaurant is located. There, one can observe golden eagles, hawks, and owls that have been injured, most often by the numerous wind turbines that take the lives of thousands of birds each year. How much energy do wind turbines produce?