Is grassland just a bunch of weeds? Not exactly. Along this stretch of trail, look for kit foxes, meadowlarks, harriers, Say’s phoebes, savannah sparrows, white-tailed kites, and even eagles. And give thanks to the humble California ground squirrel.
Music: “Circle Tour,” Phil Heywood. Sounds: meadowlark. Photos: grassland at Los Vaqueros, Seth Adams; golden eagle soaring, Jean Douglas, Contra Costa Water District; golden eagle from above, Scott Hein, heinphotos.com; red-tailed hawk (2 closeups) Jean Douglas; Say’s phoebe, naturepicsonline.com; grasshopper sparrow, Scott Hein; ferruginous hawk, Dick Daniels, Creative Commons; short-eared owl, Steve Garvie, Wikipedia Commons; kestrel, Scott Hein; northern harrier, Dan Pancomo, Wikipedia; Los Vaqueros landscape, Scott Hein; Swainson’s hawk, Wikipedia Commons; Swainson’s hawk in flight, BLM; San Joaquin kit fox (2) Scott Hein; San Joaquin kit fox (1), B “Moose” Peterson, USFWS, Wikipedia Commons; grassland panorama, Stephen Joseph; ground squirrels (first 2), naturespicsonline. com.