Red-Shouldered Hawk Breeding Pair

I couldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass without getting the word out that a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks have now established the Kimber Park Open Space as their breeding territory! They have been observed mating, feeding and patrolling on the Kimber Park Open Space property for several weeks now.

The pair, dubbed Conan and Scarlet, maintain a constant presence. They are extremely vocal and very beautiful.

Here’s a picture of the pair, taken while they were nestling together in a tree on the Kimber Park property today, Valentine’s Day, 2012:


Conan and Scarlet

A Breeding Pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks on the Kimber Park Open Space

The Red-Shouldered Hawk is thought of as the most beautiful of all of the Northern California native hawks. They are extremely adaptable and will feed on a wide variety of prey. They prefer to sit in a tree or other roost over a hunting area, swooping down when the  prey shows itself. The are typically very vocal, and this is especially true of the pair on the Kimber Park property of late.

To listen to the Red-Shouldered Hawk call try the audio player below:

Do you have anything interesting to share about the Red-Shouldered Hawks? Please leave a comment below and let us know.


Marty the Barn Owl

Yet another raptor is discovered that resides on the Kimber Park Open Space!

Laura’s son Martin noticed a Barn Owl that lives on the Kimber Park Open Space while visiting over the Holidays.

We’ve agreed to call him Marty, after his discoverer. We don’t know yet if Marty is male or female, but I’m assuming its a he for now.

Here’s a picture of Marty, taken while he was roosting on the Kimber Park property during the day:


Marty the Barn Owl roosting on the Kimber Park Open Space

The Barn Owl is a medium to large native owl with a face I am sure you will agree is almost alien. I have seen one (probably Marty) calling and flying high over the Kimber Park Open Space by the light of the moon. With white undersides and an absolutely silent flight he looked very ghostly while aloft. I have also seen Marty flying into the short grass, probably feeding, just past dusk, among the native oaks at the east end of the Open Space.

To listen to the Barn Owl call try the audio player below:

Have you heard Marty (or his kin) while walking about Kimber Park? Please leave a comment below and tell us about it.


Kimber Park Birds

On a cold and wet December day I felt like I needed another Mission Tennis Club fix. Here is another video I shot on the public easement of the club. In the background you can hear the cyclone fence being put up, so this was one of my last views of the club from this vantage point. It really does seem as if one could be in Tahoe, as other members have said.

What is that elusive brightly colored yellow and black bird flitting around? It seems to delight in confounding my efforts to get it on video. Here it is in motion:

Here is a frame grab from the video (click on any picture for a full-size version):

Townsend's Warbler

Townsend's Warbler on the Kimber Park Open Space

At last, using my trusty Peterson Field Guide Western Birds I have confirmed that it is a Townsend’s Warbler!

I am always amazed to find warblers, but this Townsend is right at home, per the field guide “Habitat:  Tall conifers, cool fir forests… oaks”.

I have been on a mission lately to photograph some of the less seen but cool birds that make the Kimber Park Open Space home. Pat and Phil Gordon, from the local chapter of the Audubon Society, were here to confirm that White-Tailed Kites were breeding on the Kimber Park Open Space this summer. They published their finding in their November newsletter. I was astounded at their ability to identify birds.

They quickly pointed out the beautiful Golden Eagles which overfly the area. OK, how could we not notice Golden Eagles!

Phil also spotted Hutton’s Vireo, a small and inconspicuous yet pretty olive bird, which I did not even notice and then later what seemed to be a Nuttal’s Woodpecker.

I love woodpeckers, they are so boldly colored and eclectic in their behavior. I cannot believe I never saw them before. The one that Phil saw frequents the pepper tree at the extreme eastern edge of the Kimber Park Open Space. I have stopped by here often to try to photograph this guy. While there on December 13th I caught this pretty female Yellow-Rumped Warbler stopping by.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

I could hear the woodpecker, but once again he was eluding me. Again. For months on end. Harrumph.

But now, thanks to Frank, one of the horse-keepers for the horses living along the foothill here, I am happy to report that I have at long last gotten a reasonable picture. Frank finished feeding the horses and stopped to ask what I was photographing. Well, I once again had missed the woodpecker (it is very camera-shy) just before he approached, but while talking to Frank it came back for a few seconds, which I was able to take advantage of.

It turns out to be a Red-Breasted Sapsucker.

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

The sapsucker appears to actually be doing just that!

Red-Breasted Sapsucker 2

Red-Breasted Sapsucker 2

Another less often seen resident is the Northern Flicker. Here are a couple of pictures of a Northern Flicker on the Kimber Park open space. It is a pretty big woodpecker, unique in appearance and behavior.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker 2

Northern Flicker showing distinctive white patch.

One of the obvious attractant for the wildlife here are the many large native Coastal Live Oaks, which offer a ready supply of acorns to the birds, squirrels, deer and I am sure other creatures on the property. One of the oaks is apparently already mature in the old Kimber picture from 1939! It is enormous and I would not be surprised if it is well over 100 years old.

Here is the one I am thinking of:

Ancient Oak

Ancient Oak flanked by Redwoods

Among the big oak tree fans is this Scrub Jay, shown enjoying an acorn on the Kimber Park open space on :November 30th, 2011:

Scrub Jay

Scrub Jay with acorn

I will close with one of the more well-known Kimber Park open space avian residents, the Red-Shouldered Hawk. This bold hawk has modified his behavior now that the cyclone fence is up. Feeling secure enough to feed on what was once the front lawn of the property (now a mix of mulch, grass and tree-fall), it behaves as shown in these pictures:

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawk on front lawn of the Mission Hills Tennis Club.

Red-Shouldered Hawk 2

Red-Shouldered Hawk looking for food under the mulch.

Red-Shouldered Hawk 3

Red-Shouldered Hawk chomps down on a small meal.

To any readers not familiar with this property or the associated wildlife and woodland, I hope this may help you begin to understand why the neighborhood is so passionate about preserving it. The development plans submitted to the city call for the destruction of 186 trees, mostly Redwoods and Coastal Live Oaks that are over 60 years old. In and of itself this is troubling to consider, but on the mitigating Open Space at the centerpiece recreational facility of a Planned Community in Fremont it is inconceivable.


Save Kimber Park Posters

Are you interested in getting your own copy of the posters we made for the City Council meeting?

Well, here they in a manageable size (50% of the 20″x30″ versions printed for the meeting)!

Fawn hides in the grass behind court #12

Fawn at Mission Hills Tennis Club







Gray fox at Kimber Park

Gray fox scampers away on the Kimber Park Open Space








Kimber Park Redwood

One of the many Kimber Park redwoods










Kimber Park redwoods

Kimber Park redwoods and fan










Red-shouldered Hawk at Kimber Park

Red-shouldered hawk watches for prey on the Kimber Park Open Space











White-Tailed Kite pair in a Kimber Park cedar

The White-Tailed Kites that bred at Kimber Park










Kite Fledgling at Kimber Park

A White-Tailed Kite rests in the Monterrey Pine it was born in at Kimber Park










Satellite view of the Kimber Park area

An overview of the Kimber Park area, showing the central Open Space









Would you like your own full-size poster? Contact Us and we should be able to have one printed at your expense for a reasonable donation.

Take a bike ride through the public easement traversing the Kimber Park Open Space

I thought it would be good to remind everyone of the beauty of the Mission Hills Tennis Club, which is part of the Kimber Park Open Space property.

Here’s a video of a bike ride through the park:

The huge Monterrey Pines shown at the beginning of the video were used by the white-tailed kites to raise their young this year at Kimber Park.

In the background you can hear the cyclone fence being put up. This fence blocks access to the public easement which had been in use by the neighborhood for 35 or more years.

Are the deer trapped?

It appears as if at least three deer, two mature does and one immature deer are living on the Kimber Park open space, now behind a 6 foot high cyclone fence. These look to be the same deer that regularly came out at twilight when the club was open. It is also very probable that the immature deer is the one photographed earlier this year in July being nursed by its mother.

Here’s the fawn and it’s mother from July 20th of 2011.

Kimber Park native

Fawn feeds from its mother on the Kimber Park Open Space









Here’s some video of the deer taken the night a stroller first spotted them:

The question was, were they somehow coming and going from the property or were they staying behind the fence? I’ve been looking for deer tracks at likely places in the soil outside of the fence but never found any. Working off a hunch, I went over very early in the morning of November 28th, 2011. Here’s what I saw:

Brush pile

Brush pile on the Kimber Park Open Space








OK, I couldn’t resist, but you have to look very closely. Here’s a closeup of the same picture:


Hidden Deer

A deer is hidden in the brush pile








If you look closely you can see the deer creeping out of the heavy brush pile behind the trees on the old pond bed. They then came up the slope and were wary enough to focus on the click of my camera’s shutter, as shown here.


Mule deer react to the sound of the camera shutter

Three wild mule deer on the Kimber Park Open Space









The blur in the foreground is the top of the cyclone fence. This is the same fence that is shown in the Turkey post.

Apparently wildlife control says everything is fine. They report that the deer can escape. I am personally very concerned. While the adults may survive a jump over the fence, I hope they choose wisely and don’t injure themselves on the many hazards possible from such an attempt. I am also doubtful that the juvenile can jump the fence while still immature. Wildlife control says it could find one of the gaps and be able to crawl underneath the fence if the adults flee.

For the time being we can enjoy them at our leisure, as they seem to be staying. Hopefully the winter rains and plentiful morning dew will give them enough water.

Help us keep an eye on the deer and make sure that they are doing well.

Turkeys locked out for Thanksgiving


Wild Turkeys strut their stuff the day before Thanksgiving

On Wednesday morning, November 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving, the local wild turkeys were strutting their stuff across Canyon Heights Blvd from the club.

Apparently confounded by the cyclone fence now surrounding the Kimber Park Open Space, they put on a display in the limited space in front of Art Kimber’s property.

Here they are in action:

Shown below is a view of the Open Space that is normally available to the turkeys. The rolling meadow is the perfect habitat for the turkeys to use as they perform their displays and interact socially.

The fence, which the City had requested be modified or removed immediately in their letter to the owner dated November 10th, 2011, remains up. The impact on the future of the resident deer and turkeys remains to be seen.

In any case the turkeys were not brave enough to show up on Thanksgiving day itself, but can you blame them?