Robert “Roy” van de Hoek, from the Ballona Institute, called me yesterday afternoon to tell me that he had the Ferruginous Hawk [that’s wintering for the second time at Ballona] within close proximity. I rushed over to the Playa del Rey bluffs and just as I pulled up I saw the Ferruginous Hawk fly off to an even more distant power pole. After 20 minutes it flew off again toward the ocean where I lost sight of it. I decided to drive down a little bit closer to the beach to see I could relocate him. As I was pulling my camera and tripod out of the car it flew up and over my head, circling back and forth. Since I didn’t have time to get my tripod legs extended I just dropped to the ground, laying on my back shooting up at it. Without any time for preparation, I got some surprisingly good shots too. Again it flew off over the ocean and out of view.
As I was waiting for him to return a striking adult Peregrine Falcon flew within 100 yards. There was also a Red-tailed Hawk and a couple American Kestrels in the area that would occasionally harass the Ferruginous Hawk each time it would land on a power pole.
Ferruginous Hawk (w/Kestrel diving)