Urban wildlife in Berkeley and on campus

Berkeley, Monday August 19, 2019 10:20 PM

There are plenty of wildlife in Berkeley, which is great. Particularly, there are plenty of birds.

How has it come, and why? I am sure the answer is more complex than trees, but particularly for my orchestrated trip on campus, with birds singing on the trees it works.

One can truly design the landscape and the urban landscape. Those are simple ideas such as including in the street designs trees on the middle way and walkways. Their density should not have sticky because visibility is a key aspect for safety.Then one design parks and preserve forest where most of the wildlife happens, but here I am talking benefits of trees in the streets.

Their distance should be enough for the birds to find rest and feel safe to nest. Not only birds find refreshment within the trees, but the humans as well. Trees really cool down the temperature.

Lately, I have become either more sensitive to bird singings, and curious to find out where they are, and luckily as well that they always show up, even if I do not carry food. It can be the time of the year as well.

Hummingbirds have been nesting in the tree 3 meters north from my window at home. While crows are everywhere, they come in almost daily basis to the tree in front of home. There is one or some, I think its “name” is Northern Mockingbird, which are often flying fast across the street.

Ring-billed Gulls are often flying time, that one can see from the window.

At work on campus, a bushtit, I thing its it name, use to come often to office. A pair of juncos sometimes come inside, but they always go to the tree next to the office.

On campus, as soon as one pass by the Li Ka Shing Center, the amount of birds increases all the way up to Wurster, where there plenty, particularly in the space between the art buildings and it.

In addition to the prior mentioned, on the daily trips, one can listen and see white-crowned sparrows, mourning doves, and American Robins.

I have been luckily to see the Red Tailed Hawk twice in the last week, while passing the Eucalyptus Grove, and today I saw she flying while I was nearby Haas. The hawk was flying on the downstream direction from Strawberry Creek canyon, and passed above the point the point I stopped, when I listened his/her singing. Last Friday, a peregrine falcon stood on Wurster Hall’s nine floor sunshades of the South Tower, in the backyard side. Of course I went downstairs from the four floor, where I work, to the backyard, to observe who was the bird which singing with that particular sound. It is the same as the hawks. I saw the peregrine falcon standing as I said in the 9th floor sunshades. Its offspring was in the closest redwood at the east of Wurster. After few minutes the peregrine falcon decided to fly, likely for hunting some food to bring to her juvenile child. I say peregrine falcon, because its back before it flied was bluish, and its face as well. Where as red-tailed hawk, I could identify for it more gray plumage, and its characteristic red-tail, which is evident when they are flying. Both are spectacular birds. They bring as sense of respect just by their presence.

College avenue, all the way down to Chabot Rd has as well plenty of trees, and with life on them. But it is not just there, it is almost everywhere in Berkeley.

Regarding terrestrial “wildlife”, then that is more campus. There are plenty of squirrels, and I have not seen them on sidewalks of side of campus, of course there will be dangerous from them. The ones that I mainly see are between the Faculty Glade and Wurster Hall. They are mainly around Morrison Hall, but elsewhere on campus as well. Among the interesting aspects, I think it was 10 days ago, six baby squirrels came to the branches of the Oak tree at the Faculty Glade, just next to the Morrison Hall, as I was biking and stopped in the walk path.

There is a squirrel living in the area between Morrison Hall and Wurster that has three legs and not tail as a result of an accident. A witness not of the accident but of the squirrel condition just after it said that it was about three years ago. Anyways, that squirrel is strong and fantastic. As all many of the others, she has learned to stand on the two legs either for asking for food, as either as their natural way of eating as well. She is fast on climbing the trips and chasing or playing with other squirrel. She still manages to use her front broken arm to help to hold the nuts. Anyways, that squirrel might have thought that I have some food, or just was wanting to say hi. It came and stand up on the two legs as I was on the South side of Morrison Hall, later climbed the tree that is there came by through a branch.

If one leave campus a bit late, about 9 PM or 10 PM, there are now two skunks. They are beautiful, though of course not that friendly, neither oneself ones to get that close. A spraying would be terrible. About a month and half ago I saw a Raccoon.

Two deers were grazing in the area between Valley Life Sciences Building and Moffitt. They stayed there peacefully, as I did not bother them. I just stopped, on my way home, it was about 11 PM or a bit later. I think that deers come downhill to campus during the nights. I do not if that is in a daily basis, or when it was more quiet, like during summer.

About two months ago, a Great Blue Heron, which was standing on a kind of steel arc into the bay, nearby Point Emery, flew, after about 30 seconds I was observing it. It is a beautiful gigantic bird. I was biking by the frontage road to Emeryville.

In March, I observed ducks at Lake Merritt, which I think their names are Mallard and American Coot. There were other birds as well that I think they are Egret and Black Necked Stilt.

I recall those, because on August 4, two ducks were flying over campus. Those are at at high elevation. I guess they were migrating from Lake Merritt or somewhere in the South, to another Northern Lake. However, beyond calling them ducks, I do not know which specie they were.

I forgot about the Rock Pigeons, which sometimes show up walking on Walnut St. If the following terminology is correct, pigeons are terrestrial or ground feeders.

As I said there are plenty of wildlife around campus, beautiful to listen, and to stop to observe if hopefully one is not in a hurry. Something that I think are exceptions that happens over Summer or on Sundays. But will see what happens next. After having discovering all of these, I think one is more likely to pay more attention to the wildlife in a daily basis.


Journal 8/19/2019

Berkeley, Monday, August 19, 2019 9:49 PM

How far one can go in life?

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out just how far one can go” T.S. Eliot

But what is the fuel to move? Is it personal development? Is it professional development? Is it philanthropy? Is it economical development? Is it curiosity? The answer is much simpler and complex, because you cannot really think of it, neither push for it. The answer is love, day by day, action by action, moment by moment.

We might be sometimes blind to realize of it, and it is not that evident to fill, if one is not in peace.

By peace I mean, peace of heart by fighting for the good.

How much love one can receive is irrelevant, and it never should be requested. The important aspect is how much love I can give.

Each person has the capacity to provide light in darkness, but first would need to enlighten oneself. Praying at the dawn and the night could be one of the sources, but as C.S. Lewis said in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, you might find different ways to go to Narnia throughout your lives.

Fuerza y corazón, carajo!

Catholic, Day, Faith, Journal, Life, Love

Pensées from Pascal

Berkeley, Friday, August 2, 2019 4:22 PM

Transcripts from Blaise Pascal’s Pensées:

“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. I say that the heart naturally loves the Universal Being, and also itself naturally, according as it gives itself to them; and it hardens itself against one or the other as its will. You have rejected the one, and kept the other. Is it by reason that you love yourself?

It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This, then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.

Faith is a gift of God; do not believe that we said it was a gift of reasoning. Other religions do not say this of their faith. They only gave reasoning in order to arrive at it, and yet it does not bring them to it.

The knowledge of God is very far form the love of Him.

Heart, instinct, principles.” (Pascal, 1670, 277-281)


Pascal, B., 1670. Pensées, WF Trotter (trans.) in 1958, introduction by TS Eliot. The edition I read was from Dover, 2003.

Day, Journal

Appreciation to the Jews who listened and believed

Berkeley, Thursday, August 1, 2019 2:16 AM

I want to say thanks Elizabeth and Zechariah for being good Jews and faithful to God. Zachariah listened the announcement of the angel Gabriel. He believed, well actually, he hesitate a little bit in believe, what was announced to him. His prayers were heard by the Lord. The Lord granted them, at their old age, that Elizabeth will bear a child, who will come with the Spirit and power of Elijah, to correct the paths of the world and announce the coming of the Lion of Judea. With his strong faith in the announcement, but as a penitence for the small disbelief during it, when Zechariah questioned how was going to happened it, Gabriel ‘commended to’ Zechariah as follows: “I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time” (Lk 1, 19-20)

After Elizabeth gave birth, and everyone in the community were full of joy, and amazed on Lords mercy. At the Circumcision Ceremony, Brit Milah, which is Jewish ceremony, which happens on the 8 day after the baby is born, their relatives and the community were going to call the child Zechariah, in honor of his father. But Elizabeth said, “No. He will be called John” But the community said but “there is no one among your relatives who has this name”. So they made sign, asking to the “speechless” Zechariah, what he wished him to be called. Zechariah asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name”. Immediately his mouth was opened his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God (Lk 2, 57-64).

I want to thank Mary’s parents, Anna and Joachim for being good Jews and faithful to God. I want to thank Joseph for being a good Jew and faithful to God. I want to thank Mary for being a good Jew, faithful to God, for believing in the announce of Gabriel, and giving us Jesus, the Lord, who came Himself to announce His Kingdom.