Meet a very social bird. Harris Hawks live in the desert southwest, and when there are no trees, windmills or rusty fence posts to perch on, they stand on each other. Young Harris Hawks stay with their family for several years, helping to raise the next generations. And the hawks may also hunt together. This particular hawk is taking full advantage of a small ranch pond in southern Texas.
Just a few miles north of San Simeon, California, islands of black basalt stained white from bird guano rise from the Pacific. Named Piedras Blancas or White Rocks by Spanish mariners, these rocks have long hosted large colonies of cormorants and other seabirds. But what most visitors come to Piedras Blancas to see are the thousands of northern elephant seals that rest and breed on the sandy beaches.
As I arrived at a lookout, a woman sneeringly commented on how damnably lazy the seals were. What she didn't know is that elephant seals have one of the most extreme lifestyles known and bloody well deserve their rest.
Female elephant seals spend much of their lives at sea and come to the colony at Piedras Blancas to give births to their pups and breed. They may spend much of their time resting here, but when at sea, they dive continuously, both day and night, and can reach depths of more than a mile.
- Steven Holt
Continuous Deep Diving in Northern Elephant Seals
2012 UC Santa Cruz Tracking Study
There's nothing dull about male vermilion flycatchers. But just being gorgeous isn't enough to sway a female vermilion: she also expects a rousing concert from her suitors. Vermilion flycatchers range from the tropics of South America and Mexico to western Texas and southeastern California.