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Oceanside CBC: Nature red in tooth and claw; and an unusual peregrine

On the Oceanside CBC yesterday, our team on the Omni La Costa Resort had some interesting sightings I thought I’d share.

First, although I’ve seen photos of this, I've never been sure they weren’t photoshopped. But I watched as a Cassin’s kingbird pursued a gliding red-tailed hawk, landed and perched on the hawk's back and pecked at the hawk's head for a few seconds before flying off.

Second, we were watching some very active hummingbird feeders, hoping they might attract something unusual, when a black phoebe swept past one and caught a flying Allen’s hummingbird by the neck in its beak and flew off with it. They disappeared behind a bush, so we could not tell if it released the hummingbird at some point, or killed it and dropped it, or consumed it.

Finally, on a dead tree on the north side of Poinsettia Lane just east of the corner of Estrella Del Mar Rd.–so outside our territory–we had a heavily streaked and utterly devoid of any warm colors Peregrine falcon that seemed to be of the pealei race. Very few records of this race in San Diego.

Stan Walens, San Diego
Dec. 30, 2018; 6:30 a.m.
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports