Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Bay Is For The Birds

The San Francisco Bay Area is a huge city. Millions and millions of humans live around the remains of San Francisco Bay. Invasive species took hold in  the bay long  before anyone even suspected that ballast water in ships carried any living  organisms.  The shoreline for generations  has been filled with industrial and household garbage, so the city could have more room, and  today the bay is a aboot  1/3 its original natural size because of all that human growth.  

 In the 1960’s the south  bay was still being filled with rubbish, and on that fill is where internet giant Google’s headquarters is located today.
You wouldn’t think that any part of the natural world would still be around a place like this . But just outside Google’s back door are thriving wetlands teaming with birds.

Hiking around the bay lands for a couple of afternoons I ran into some  other Alaskans.

Northern Shovelers

These bad boys, were like me enjoying the California sunshine. Their pals Canadian Geese were nearby feasting on the plants along the trail.

 Cooper’s Hawk

This Cooper’s Hawk soared  around the marshes for quite a while. When I snapped the photo I thought it was making a run on some ducks, but it ended up landing on dry land.
I didn’t get good photos of, but spotted a magnificent hummingbird, and a common Black Hawk. Neither of those birds should be here, perhaps they came north for holiday.

 American Avocet

Avocets in winter and summer plumage are abundant here. They work there bills back and forth in the mud searching for food. Their heads swinging back and forth remind me of the bison along the Alcan with their heads pushing the snow off the frozen grass.

Big power for a big city.  Recycling, and reusing what it can. California vehicle emission rules and now expensive fuel requirements are making those east bay hills more visible than they have been in years.
If California had volcanoes just east of them like we do in Anchorage,  they would be generating megawatts of electricity, and reducing carbon emissions.

Thank GOD in laska we have a majority of  regressives in our state government that will give oil companies billions of dollars in tax breaks, and never look beyond oil.

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