Lately the City of San Jose’s Falcon Cam is a bust. There’s no sign of Clara and Carlos, the peregrine falcons that have been nesting on the 18th floor of City Hall. The nesting box showed empty, so last Saturday Fly headed over to Guadalupe River Park & Gardens and joined twenty birders for an early morning bird walk. The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society’s Janna Pauser, noting that migrating birds use the river for a flyway, found us a red tailed hawk, hooded mergansers, black phoebes, yellow rumped warblers, flickers and finches galore, as well as a rare raptor known as a merlin, falco columbarius. Missing were the homeless sedentarius, a species that often can be found encamped on this three-mile ribbon of green running from downtown San Jose to Alviso. None were seen because of the San Jose Police Department and Santa Clara Valley Water Districts’ Feb. 26 sweep.
In fact, the place looked practically pristine—the only litter Fly saw along the river banks were the yellow flyers, still stapled to the trees and bushes, warning of the action. Park staffer Linda McCabe says there are usually lots of encampments in the vicinity but the homeless don’t bother the flocks of park visitors. “It’s a never-ending battle to limit their presence,” McCabe says. “The [police] post two weeks in advance and right before the sweep the homeless load up their shopping carts, walk to the shopping center on Coleman, wait until the police leave and then come on back.”