California Naturalists are getting ready to participate in and around their homes for the City Nature Challenge 2020! If you want to participate, find out if your city is on the list this year. They told us using the survey what they are looking forward to seeing in their city this year. Chris Sulots, City College of San Francisco certified naturalist, describes one of this favorite iNaturalist observations from last year's City Nature Challenge in the San Francisco Bay Area:
I was camping on Mare Island (just south of Vallejo) in what was basically an abandoned military barracks. It was a very surreal place. My friend and I were the only people there (or the only people we saw) and there was a ton of empty buildings being overtaken by nature. It made observing & exploring interesting & eerie. There was a large parking lot with a bunch of military vehicles, Palm trees, and electrical poles. Swooping back & forth from the palms to the poles was a large bird with something dangling from it's claws. We got closer & watched it for a few moments and realized it was an Osprey making a nest. We explored the island more and later on we came upon what looked like an old golf course. We walked around heard meowing. Tiny little meows. We went over to a small area of industrial scrap metal and saw little kittens! A feral litter of 3-4. (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/23858286) It was such a strange and beautiful space- The whole thing felt like a dream.
During this nest-building period, male ospreys will fly high and then dive repeatedly in vicinity of nest sit with nesting material clasped in their talons. When feeding ospreys will also orient the fish they catch headfirst to ease wind resistance.