Red-tailed Hawk

Scientific: Buteo jamaicensis
Spanish: Halcón de cola roja
Awaswas: Káknu

Diet: Small mammals, song birds, snakes
Habitat: Widespread in many types of habitats, especially open country
California Status: Least Concern

Adapted For Hunting In Different Habitats
There are at least a dozen species in the family Accipitridae that migrate through or reside in the county. They are collectively adapted to every habitat in the region and can often be found anywhere there are high perches available from which to hunt. Red-tailed hawks are the most common hawk you will spot in our region and can be easily identified by their red tail.

Ohlone Tiger Beetle

Scientific: Cicindela ohlone
Spanish: Escarabajo tigre de Ohlone

Diet: Arthropods
Habitat: Grasslands on coastal prairie terraces
Status: Endangered

Named after the Indigenous culture of the area, the Ohlone tiger beetle is a federally endangered species that exists in only a handful of locations, all in Santa Cruz County. Adults are active on sunny days between January and May, and use bare ground for mating, basking, hunting, and larval development within burrows. Because of this, they tend to be found on trails, making them susceptible to trampling, especially by cyclists travelling at more than 5 mph along trails, too fast for the beetle’s ability to react and fly out of the way.


Open and Useful Land

A wide plain of grass and flowers provide critical space for grazing animals, and an open area for hunting predators, such as hawks and coyotes. In grasslands, fast-growing grasses thrive where frequent natural fire and little water keep shrubs and trees from taking over. 

California grasslands are a threatened habitat, and over the last two hundred years have been converted into agriculture, and fragmented with roads and other development. 

Learn More

Visit Local Grassland Habitats