The Adventures of “Hawk Finn”

If you have spent time at Los Angeles State Historic Park lately chances are you have seen our resident Hawk. This hawk, whom we have happily named “Hawk Finn”, is an adventurous and well fed hawk. Hawk Finn feeds in the park on critters and flies low, giving visitors a front row seat to the dining show. If you see Hawk Finn in the park grab your cameras fast, he usually moves about fairly rapidly.hawk-pola

Name That Bird

Name That Bird

Help us out by naming this bird!

Park User Submission: Say’s Stink Bug

Say's Bug

We have another submission from our friend Lisa who took this amazing photo on her iPhone last week. She captured this shot near the entrance to the park. She not only shared this photo but also filled us in on what type of bug it is. Lisa told us this is a Say’s Stink Bug, which is also known as Chlorochroa sayi from the Pentatomidae family. Up close it is about 1/2″ in length. Though it isn’t yet spring, this species is actually common in summer gardens. Glands near the hind legs produce an acrid vapor that discourages predators. Thanks again Lisa, for sharing your photo and knowledge. Hope to see you in the park again soon!

Hawk Sighting

Hawk

Many great things come from having the Gold Line run adjacent to our park. One perk is the light posts that line the track and serve as perfect perches for hawks. Yesterday I spotted a hawk as it scoured the park for something to eat. This hawk may be in luck. I also spotted a killdeer in the park yesterday.

Busy Bugs

Ladybug

Worker Bee

With all of the blooming going on in the park, many bugs are hard at work. Today we spotted busy bees pollinating and Ladybugs eating aphids. Here are some photographs of what we saw!

I Spy A Great Egret…

A Great Egret hunts gophers at the north end of L.A. State Historic Park.

Giant Cat…..er Giant Tomato Hornworm!


This Tomato Hornworm was hanging out behind our building, here in the park, munching on one of our tomato plants. Quite a fine looking specimen. It also enjoys snacking on other plants in the Nightshade family including eggplant, pepper, tobacco, moon flowers and potato.

Western Kingbird Spotted!

The Western Kingbird

The park is full of bird activity and we are excited to announce that the Western Kingbird has made it to Los Angeles State Historic Park. At around noon, we spotted about five or six Western Kingbirds in and around the middle of the park.

Bird Fact: During mating season, the male Western Kingbird flies up to 60 feet in the air and then proceeds to free-fall, tumbling over and over as the ground approaches, in hopes of impressing a future mate.

A Western Kingbird surveys LASHP from Gold Line wires.

Our Current Residents

Well if you have been to our park in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a flurry of activity in the sky above our park. These energetic birds are our yearly residents, the Cliff Swallows. They have built their nests at the north end of the park on the Broadway Street Bridge and will only be here for a few more weeks, so don’t miss your chance to witness there air acrobatics.
BIRD FACT: Cliff Swallows are the most common swallows in Southern California.

A Cliff Swallow in the sky above Los Angeles State Historic Park.

You can tell it's a Barn Swallow by it's forked tail.

Although this picture is not as clear as the one above, it depicts a Barn Swallow in flight at L.A. State Historic Park. The easiest way to differentiate between the two types of swallows is that Barn Swallows have forked tails and Cliff Swallow have flat tails. Although the Barn Swallows have not been nearly as prevalent as the Cliff Swallows in our park, if you look close enough you may be able to spot one.
BIRD FACT: The Barn Swallow is also common throughout most parts of Europe.

Killdeer Sighting!

While out in the park today, we noticed a noisy Killdeer scurrying around our seasonal wetland here at Los Angeles State Historic Park. This isn’t the first time we spotted a Killdeer here in the park but that doesn’t mean we are any less excited when we spot one!


BIRD FACT: The Killdeer is a shore bird that got its name from its loud call that sounds like they are saying their name, kill deer.

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