Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Our local newspaper had a great article in it by writer, Jon Hammond about the visitors that the Tehachapi Valley gets each fall. In fact, he states that autumn doesn't officially arrive in our mountains until these giant birds fly through.
When I use the word "giant" it's because these birds have six foot wing spans. They happen to be some of the largest birds in the Tehachapi mountains, with only a few other species that are of even greater size - Golden Eagles, Condors and the occasional Bald Eagle that comes.
They usually come down from Canada, Washington, Oregon and No. California and are in search of the warmer climates, not food. Because of their huge wing spans, they need sunlight to produce thermals which are rising columns of warm air that these birds need to gain altitude.
If they arrive late in the day once cooling has begun, they can't clear Oak Creek Pass and make it out to the Mojave desert by late afternoon. So, they spend the night in the Tehachapi mountains high in the trees. When morning arrives and the sun warms the air, they continue their flight plan in search of warmer climates.
Each October, I enjoy looking to the skies to see these amazing creatures.