The California Clapper Rail is a bird that likes to be heard, but not seen. But today, on this windy morning at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland, they aren’t too vocal. In order to find them, Vivian Bui scans the air with a big metal antenna, attached to a receiver, while she listens through big headphones.
Used to be, you had to take one of those Alaskan cruises to be sure of sighting an American bald eagle in the wild, but thanks to vigorous conservation efforts, which have removed the eagle from the Endangered Species List, such sightings are more common now in the Lower 48. Birders, and many other fans of our national symbol, flocked to San Mateo County to watch these impressive birds do something they hadn’t done there in almost 100 years: build a nest.