Updated 5:12 p.m.
A Peregrine falcon was spotted Dec. 27 near the mouth of the Tijuana River, the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center said this week. Sightings in San Diego County are relatively rare, according to a ranger blog.
The Peregrine is known as the fastest animal on the planet, at times exceeding 250 mph, and one of the largest falcons in North America, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Daniel Hess, son of estuary bird docent Winand Hess, spotted the big, speedy bird.
Hess gives a bird walk
Share and see new notable bird and animal sightings on display at the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center.
Notable bird sightings reported by the estuary in the past month or so:
- Green-tailed towhee Dec. 28 and Dec. 31 near the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
- Buffelheads Dec. 30
- Mallards Dec. 30
- Shoveler Dec. 30
- Ruddy ducks Dec. 30
- Hermit Thrush Dec. 30 in willows behind Visitor Center
- Common Goldeneye Dec. 28 near the mouth of the Tijuana River
- Surf Scoter female Dec. 28 at the mouth of the Tijuana River
- Northern Shrike on the South McCoy Trail in the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge Dec. 27
- Cranes flying south near Saturn Boulevard
- Reddish Egret
- Red breasted Merganser
- Sandhill Crane in San Diego Bay near bridge flying south Nov. 25
- Ruddy Turnstones Nov. 22
- American White Pelican Nov. 22
Click the link to see a profile of each bird or hear their distinctive voice or call.
Plants and Flower sightings:
- California Fuchsia in front of the Visitor Center
- Shaw's Agave near 3rd Street
- Coast Goldenbush
- Our Lord's Candle (Yucca)
- Broom Baccharis
- California Holly (Berries)
Among other bird sighting resources, eBird.org is a partnership between some of the best known names in birding, including the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.
According to eBird's BirdTrax, 128 species of birds were spotted in Imperial Beach in the past week.
A map of bird sightings can also be found on eBird.org.
The San Diego County Birding Yahoo! Group is also a good resource to follow recent bird sightings.
More than 370 native and migratory birds can be found in the estuary, according to the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Near 500 native and migratory birds can be found across San Diego, according to the San Diego National History Museum's San Diego County Bird Atlas, compiled in 2002.
The atlas can be found in book form or downloaded to view on Google Earth.
Correction: The original version of this article stated that bird walks at the estuary take place every Sunday. Bird walks are held the first, third and fifth Sunday every month.