by Mark Holmgren
Breeding presence of WTKI in the Goleta Valley Study Area* has been tracked for more than 30 years. In 2020, the breeding period extended from February into September. 11 nesting events produced a minimum of 14 young. We do not know how many of these achieved independence from parental care. More Mesa and Lake Los Carneros are the most reliable and often the most productive open spaces hosting kites. They produced 4 broods and 2 broods respectively. Other open spaces that hosted breeding kites were Winchester Cyn, the Ellwood neighborhoods (but not Ellwood Mesa), and San Marcos Foothills. Other large open spaces that have supported Kites in the past did not do so this year: Goleta Slough, San Antonio Creek, and Ellwood Mesa.
We hope for more volunteer Kite Watchers to assist tracking kites and other raptors in our open spaces in 2021.
* The Study Area is bounded by Winchester Canyon on the west to San Marcos Foothills on the east, the Santa Ynez Mountains on the north to the coastal mesas.