07/01/2024 Highlights from last month – Chicks, fledglings and rescues

Grebe Chicks!

…..A busy month indeed.  The Grebe chicks are growing fast and all of the recent chicks are off the backs of the parents and learning the ropes of being a Grebe.  But they are not the only chicks that have fledged in and around Lake Hodges

I’ve been documenting a few standouts.  Here are a selection of videos and stills. 

Got to keep those  incoming new feathers in Shape.

Coope'rs Hawk at lake Hodges Photo Tours

This very impatient immature Cooper’s Hawk is one of 5 five that succesfully fledged around Lake Hodges.

Immature Cooper's Hawk heading to parent at Lake hodges Photo Tours

As soon as a parent comes in with an offereing it’s first come first served. This is one of the smaller males hoping to be first in line.

Once the immature bird receives a meal from one of it’s parents it will mantle over it’s prize, insuring that none of it’s other recently fledged siblings can snatch it away.

Three of the 5 immature Coops that are hanging around their nesting area at Lake Hodges, waiting for a hand out from one of the parents. 

Dip shaking, ratchet pointing Western Grebes at Lake Hodgs Photo Tours

And of course, Grebe courtship continues as always. 

This time of year it’s not as prevalent, but it still goes on.  

Hooded Oriole chick at Lake Hodges Photo Tours

One of the local Hooded Oriole nests has had a run of bad luck. This is the 3rd time we’ve found a chick that has fallen out of the nest. After running some masking tape below the nest to keep the nest from tipping over, we returned the chicks and so far this has been successful. We’ll continue watching, making sure it doesn’t happen yet again. Hopefully we’ll have a set of fledglings in a few weeks. We’ll keep you updated.

Rescuing a Raven. It’s all about TEAMWORK.
When returning to the dock yesterday after shooting the last of the Grebe chicks that were still on their parents’ backs, the assistant reservoir keeper, Claude asked if I could help with an entangled bird that had been reported to Laina Doan, the concessionaire, by one of the lake patrons, Dylan Schank. With help from Cody Spurgeon, we drove around to the reported site area with a ladder, an extendible lopping saw and a very handy boat hook, (revolve-tec.com).
The bird was sitting atop a large branch approx 15′ from the ground, it’s foot entangled in fishing line wrapped around a smaller branch. Glad we brought the ladder! Good call Cody! After assessing the situation, I volunteered to climb up and hopefully release the bird. The easiest thing would have been to cut the small branch but then the bird would have simply flown away with a branch connected to its leg and ended up entangled elsewhere. We needed to cut the larger limb and safely bring the limb and the bird to the ground where we would be able to completely untangle the bird.
After cutting for a while and then using the boat hook both the limb and the bird fell perfectly to the ground where we were able to untangle the fishing line.
After assessing the bird’s condition and a couple of quick photographs we released the bird, a raven, and it flew off, seemingly unharmed. TEAMWORK 🙂

Until next month.

More updates to come.

Please contact me directly by email me if interested in heading out on the Lake for any photography or videography. The Lake only has limited days open for boating. 

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Local Accommodation

Recommended rentals in the Del Dios and surrounding community on Lake Hodges.

Springhill Suits

by Marriott | 7 min. drive entrance to Lake

Rancho Bernardo

Inn | 16 min. drive entrance to Lake

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