Tag Archives: yolo

Whooo is that in the trees?

Great Horned Owl (Photo by Mary K. Hanson, Tuleyome Association)

Great Horned Owl
(Photo by Mary K. Hanson, Tuleyome Association)

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 7, 2014 —

by Mary K. Hanson
Tuleyome Association

I was walking with my dog through a stretch of riparian (river side) habitat in the region, and was suddenly attracted to the sound of a group of Acorn Woodpeckers, high up in the trees, having a squawking fit over something, so I went to see what the problem was.

At first, all I saw was the woodpeckers themselves.  They were in quite a tizzy, shouting their loud rasping calls as they jumped from branch to branch, flashing their wings.  I couldn’t see anything in the tree that might have been the cause of such a ruckus, however, so I looked around a bit more.  And then I spotted it.

In another tree just a few feet away was a huge Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus).

Basking in the early morning sun, he swiveled his large head around, looked at me with sleepy amber-gold eyes and then proceeded to completely ignore me.  I couldn’t ignore him, though.  In fact, I think I stood there for about 20 minutes or so just watching him and taking photographs.  Great Horned Owls are one of the most easily recognizable owls in the country, but I’d never seen one this close up before.  I was mesmerized.

Sometimes called “Cat Owls” because of their ear-like tufts, Great Horned Owls occupy a wide variety of habitats in California including riparian forests, cliff sides, deserts and even residential areas. And they’re not particular about where they nest either.  These owls may take over the treetop nests of other large birds, or move into an abandoned squirrel’s nest, occupy stumps, ledges, barns and “owl boxes” or other manmade structures.

Nesting season is generally between December and July – so we’re right in the middle of it, now.  Although they only use a nesting site once in a season and don’t return to it the next year, the owls are good tenants with both parents looking after their young nestlings and one another.  Female Great Horned Owls usually lay 2 or 3 eggs in a clutch and then both parents take turns incubating them, with the male leaving the nest only to hunt down food for his mate.

Great Horned Owls have a somewhat broad diet which can sometimes include other birds (which explains why the Acorn Woodpeckers were so upset that the owl was so nearby) and prey larger than themselves, but they most often stick to mice, rabbits, squirrels and other small mammals, including skunks. Like all owls, the Great Horned Owls tend to swallow their meals whole, and then regurgitate up the indigestible parts like bones and fur in “pellet” form.  (It’s not uncommon to find complete mouse skulls in these pellets.)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to spot several of these large handsome birds in the local area – including a female in her nest above an outcropping of mistletoe — so keep an eye out for them, especially if you’re walking just before dusk when they’re heading out to hunt or just after dawn when they’re heading back to their daytime resting sites.  And remember to take lots of photos!

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

New: if you can’t find a book at library, have them ‘zip it’ to you from Amazon

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — April 9, 2014 —

“Zip Books” arrives tomorrow (April 10).

Starting April 10, a cardholder unable to find a particular print book in the Yolo County library system can make a “Zip Book” request, and the library will attempt to buy a copy at Amazon and have it shipped straight to the cardholder’s address. When finished with the book, the customer can just return it to the service desk at the library for special processing. The new book may then become part of the library’s collection.

The service is made possible by a grant from the California State Library, and is available to cardholders with less than $10 in overdue fines. Start your book search at www.yolocounty.org.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Don’t be too quick to click: several Internet-related scams are making local rounds

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 12, 2014 —

The office of Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig wants the public to be aware of a couple of scams currently making the rounds.

In one ripoff, consumers receive a computer-generated phone call telling them they have won $100 off of their AT&T phone bill. The phone call instructs them to log onto the website www.iliveatt.com, which looks legitimate but is only a “convincing fake,” reports Dave Edwards of the D.A.’s office.

The site tries to steal personal information to use for fraud.

Also reported locally is an email message that purports to be a “foreclosure notice.”

The email sounds official, and tells you that you are being foreclosed and evicted from your home. You are asked to respond immediately by clicking on a link.

The message “is designed to scare you into responding quickly, while you are upset and not thinking clearly,” reports Derek Soriano of the D.A.’s office. “Cybercriminals are trying to get you to open attachments which may contain computer viruses, or provide them with a credit card number. You can be sure this is a scam designed to steal your money and possibly your identity. If you receive an unexpected or unsolicited email like this and you are not sure if it is legitimate, you should contact your bank and/or realtor to ask them about it before you respond.”

Edwards offered these tips:

— Beware if a message offers something that seems too good to be true.

— Watch out if the message threatens negative action, such as canceling your account, if you fail to act immediately.

— Be suspicious if a message asks you to click on a link to update or submit your information.

— Don’t respond to or open attachments, or click on links, in unsolicited emails.

  EDITOR’S NOTE: At the News-Ledger office, we have seen the “foreclosure notice” email scam mentioned above by the D.A.’s office. We have also received a fake “Notice to Appear in Court,” claiming to notify the recipient that he or she is due in court, and attempting to get the recipient to click on a link for more details. Clicking on the link would no doubt lead to trouble.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

West Sac man dies in Yolo County jail

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE – March 20, 2014 –

A West Sacramento man died in jail custody yesterday, apparently of suicide.

Captain Larry Cecchetini of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department said 33-year old inmate Nitesh Raj Singh had been in custody at the Woodland facility since March 6 on domestic violence charges. Singh was found in distress at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Singh was housed in a single cell at the time of the incident,” reported Cecchetini. “The inmate was observed by correctional staff only 25 minutes earlier and he appeared well and was not displaying any signs of distress.”

Later, he said, “a correctional officer was conducting routine cell checks when he found an inmate apparently trying to commit suicide. The officer called for assistance and entered the cell, where he observed the inmate with a sheet wrapped around his neck and the other end tied to a light fixture in the cell. Correctional and medical staff at the jail immediately began CPR and called for fire department and ambulance to respond. The inmate was transported to Woodland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead later in the afternoon.”

The sheriff’s department and its coroner’s office are investigating.

Singh’s next of kin were notified of the death last night, said Cecchetini.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014