Raccoon and Birds Near Each Other?

I need to remind myself, wildlife areas have opening and closing times and days. San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Lakeview, California is no different. Open: seven in the morning till six at night with Wednesdays and Saturdays during certain parts of the year only open for duck hunters! Fortunately in our first visit here we were able to check out a few ponds near the entrance kiosk and were most interested in seeing if any raptors were flying in the area.

No doubt I need to return to this area when I have more time and it is open to all with no worry of hunting season; however, we did see 25 different species of birds! Four raptors were seen and a photo of each is below: red-tailed hawk, northern harrier, American kestrel and a new bird for me, the red-shouldered hawk!

Red-tailed hawk
Northern harrier
American kestrel
First time seeing a red-shouldered hawk!

The other fascinating observation was seeing a raccoon so near to birds! We heard some birds squawking, yet not moving away from a raccoon slowly walking through the water! It had to be the largest raccoon I have ever seen too! The raccoon simply continued on his way … I am assuming it a male, yet I have no idea… and the birds didn’t seem to have a flap about it! Before it stepped into the tall grass, it turned and looked back in my direction, despite me being quite a distance from it. I wondered if the raccoon actually noticed me. Fascinating!

First, calmly walking in the pond.
Birds squawked and stayed while raccoon continued on.
Does the raccoon see me?

Spending time in wildlife … a joy, an adventure, and one never knows what will happen! We thought we would only be seeing birds! Are you getting outdoors to enjoy nature? I hope you do!