San Luis Obispo is home to an abundant amount of wildlife. Birds of prey are abundant, if you look up, you are likely to see one. I’ve often seen hawks with prey in their talons. I’ve seen them with mice, rats, I’ve even seen one with a snake, but I’ve never been able to capture one with my camera. Until a beautiful spring day in Avila Beach, CA. An osprey I was watching swooped down and caught a fish out of San Luis Creek, and I managed to catch it! So, I have been inspired to dedicate a page to all the birds of prey I’ve seen in San Luis Obispo County.
I felt more than saw or heard this flying over me in Poly Canyon, San Luis Obispo. I had heard that there was a Golden Eagle there by a birding group out of Morro Bay that I had been speaking with. They had said that they hadn’t seen the eagle this year yet. I had a few false alarms, but when this guy swooped over me, I knew that it wasn’t another hawk! What a beautiful bird, and huge too!
Red Tailed Hawk
While Red Tailed Hawks are a common bird in California, I still get excited every time I see one. They are just beautiful, and their colors amaze me. The vibrant red tails are just great.
Red Shouldered Hawks
These slightly less common hawks are also seen in around San Luis Obispo, CA.
Turkey Vultures, while perhaps not known for being the most beautiful bird in the world, are one of my favorites. They have a huge wingspan up to 6 feet long, and can weigh up to 5 lbs. They are carrion feeders, and the ones below were attempting to eat a seal that had washed up in Port San Luis.
Switching continents to Africa, the Fish Eagle is an amazing bird. The African Fish Eagle can be found through sub-saharan Africa. We have seen them in Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Carmine Bee Eaters
While the Carmine Bee Eater isn’t necessarily a bird of prey, they are one of my favorite birds, so I included them. They live in holes they burrow in cliff faces and have beautiful pink, red, and blue plumage. This group of birds was seen on the banks of the Zambezi River in Mana Pools.