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Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » SCV Outdoor Report: A Lumbering Giant

SCV Outdoor Report: A Lumbering Giant

By: Wendy Langhans

 

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Great Egrets stalk fish by walking slowly and deliberately through the shallow water.

I really didn’t expect that bird to fly.  Maybe it was the six foot wingspan.  Maybe it was the rhythmic whooshing sound made by its wings.  Or maybe it was the slow-mo speed; after all, their average speed is only 25 mph.  I’ve seen SUV drivers talking on a cell phone going faster than that.  I’ve even seen SUV drivers talking on their cell phone, slurping coffee and yelling at their kids who drive faster than 25 mph.

 

Yet somehow that Great Blue Heron managed to get airborne.   A minute before it was hunting fish in a man-made pond near the Santa Clara River, until a Great Egret with the same objective came too close.  It turns out that each bird has a different hunting strategy:  the Great Egret moves slowly, deliberately stalking its prey while the Great Blue Heron stands still, waiting for its prey to approach.

 

In human terms, I liken it to how students study for an exam.  Some prefer to isolate themselves in a quiet place, like the lower stacks of a library.  Others prefer more noise; a bustling coffee shop suits them just fine.  And if you’re the type that prefers to study in peace and quiet and some gum-cracking yahoo barges in and spread their books out all over your table, you’ll do just what that heron did; you’ll gather up your heavy bag of books and leave.

 

Upcoming Outdoor Events:

 

Saturday, Dec. 8, 8:30 AM – noon.  Come help trail volunteers repair and maintain our local trails.

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
Contact Steve Ioerger 661-291-1565 or machiamist@aol.com for location.

 

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Great Blue Herons stand motionless while waiting for the fish to swim within striking range.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 8:30 AM – noon.  Whitney Canyon.  An easy to moderate hike – 5 miles roundtrip.  Bring lunch and plenty of water.

Link for map and directions, click here.

 

For more information contact Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel at zuliebear@aol.com
Sponsored by the Community Hiking Club.

 

Saturday, Dec 15, 8:00 -10:00 AM. Towsley Canyon.  An easy Bird Hike.

Link for map and directions, click here.

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

 

Wednesday, Dec. 26, 9:00 -11:00 AM. Towsley Canyon.  Walk off that pumpkin pie – an easy morning stroll through the canyon.  Rain cancels.

Link for map and directions, click here.

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

 

Saturday, Dec. 29, 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM Santa Clarita Valley.
Save the date for the Audubon Society’s 108th Annual Christmas Bird Count

 

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A Great Blue Heron uses every square inch of its six foot wingspan to get into the air.

Meet at 7:00 AM at Western Bagel in the "Big Kmart" parking lot, corner of Valencia Blvd. and San Fernando Rd. The address is: 23170 W. Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, CA 91355.

Link for more information, click here.

 

You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

 

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, go to www.LAMountains.com.

SCV Outdoor Report: A Lumbering Giant

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