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!

Hawk Sighting


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.

I Spy A Great Egret…

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

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.

Wildlife Update 2/10/10

A quick walk through Los Angeles State Historic Park today reviled that the park is pulsing with late winter wildlife. What follows are a few photographs showcasing all the residents that call LASHP home.

Dozens of Ladybugs were spotted sunning themselves.

European Honey Bee's were busy collecting nectar from Arroyo Lupine

A Black Phoebe searches for food

A Black Phoebe catches a juicy caterpillar!

Fine Feathered Friends

Here are two shots of birds spotted in the park today. The first up is a Western Meadowlark proudly displaying their yellow belly. Followed by our friend and frequent visitor, the Say’s Phoebe, keeping a sharp eye out for the next tasty bug.

The Western Meadowlark

The Say's Phoebe

The Birds Have Been Identified!

Thanks to reader Tim Hadja for identifying both mystery birds!

The first mystery bird, he identified as a White-crowned Sparrow, which is a large Sparrow that likes open fields with brushy patches. He mentioned that they are one California’s most common winter birds. For more info on the White-crowned Sparrow follow this link.

Immature White-crowned Sparrow

The second mystery bird (the bird featured in the video) he identified as a Say’s Phoebe. He mentioned that it can found year round in Los Angeles, snacking on insects. For more information on the Say’s Phoebe follow this link .

Say's Phoebe

Thanks again to our reader Tim for the help and if you see a picture of bird you don’t recognize in our park send me an email at tcarroll(AT)parks(DOT)ca(DOT)gov

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