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Winged Migration above the Magnificent Carrizo Plain

The American kestrel is the only North American falcon to use a hovering technique when hunting — rapidly beating its wings while it scans the ground for prey. © Alan Schmierer

The northern harrier uses its hearing as well as its vision when hunting, a trait that is aided by the harrier’s stiff facial feathers, which help transmit sound. © Alan Schmierer

The Carrizo Plain encompasses 250,000 acres of unfragmented habitat — making it the largest single native grassland remaining in California. © Alan Schmierer

The burrowing owl nests in abandoned burrows of small mammals, such as squirrels and prairie dogs. © Alan Schmierer

Great horned owls have large eyes that are fixed within their sockets and an incredibly flexible neck that can turn 270 degrees. © Alan Schmierer

The Carrizo Plain's expansive landscape provides critical habitat for numerous endangered species, including the California condor. © Alan Schmierer

Thanks to conservation efforts, the once-endangered ferruginous hawk population has greatly improved and it is now considered to be at lower risk. © Alan Schmierer

The fences along the wide-open grasslands of the Carrizo Plain provide excellent roosts for wintering birds. © Alan Schmierer

The prairie falcon nests on cliff ledges, rather than in trees, and often shares its nesting habitat with other birds, such as golden eagles and red-tailed hawks. © Alan Schmierer

The outstanding bird diversity in the Carrizo Plain in the winter is due to the large protected habitat situated directly beneath the Pacific Flyway. © Alan Schmierer

The shy and elusive Le Conte’s thrasher is a true xerophile — it is able to survive and thrive in conditions in which water is scarce. © Alan Schmierer

The roadrunner can run up to 17 miles per hour and is famous for its ability to catch and eat rattlesnakes. Beep Beep! © Alan Schmierer


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