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Tis’ the season for love! Mating and nesting season is upon us here in many parts of the country. Keep your eyes to the sky and you are likely to see Red-tailed Hawks flying in unison with dramatic aerial displays, part of their courting ritual. Some raptors already have eggs in the nest, like the now famous Bald Eagles of Big Bear. Others, like the Great Horned Owls, may even have little owlets already hatched. This is a time to make sure you are doing all of the things to keep our local habitats safe for birds. Some of these things include the following:

Do NOT use rodenticides, aka rat and gopher poison. One poisoned gopher or rat can kill an entire nest of raptors. Secondary poisoning is a huge issue with all of our predators. Raptors rarely survive eating poisoned prey. Great alternatives include catch and release traps, rat zappers/electronic traps (only in safe locations) and cayenne pepper. Glue traps are NOT safe. 

Reflectors on glass windows: Glass strikes kill millions of birds, not just raptors, annually. Window reflectors specific for birds are available for purchase online or through your local bird store.

Water Sources: Putting fresh water out to make available for wildlife of all sorts is always a good idea. Water = Life

Properly disposing of trash, including biodegradable food: Throwing apple cores and such out the car window can attract prey to the roadside. This encourages raptors to hunt there and often leads to car strikes.

Tree and bush trimming: To be on the safe side, the best time to trim is in the fall and winter. This helps to avoid harming and disrupting nesting birds of all kinds.

Raptors are critical to keeping our ecosystems balanced and healthy. Do your part and spread the word in your community!


Join us to free fly birds of prey in the wilds of San Diego while learning first hand about raptor biology, conservation and the ancient art of falconry.