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Sweeping through the sky, driven by cold fronts and the coming snows; heading southward and westward to the central California coast, where sunny days and mild breezes await. The journey is treacherous, with predators and sudden storms poised to take a toll, but many get through, ending up in a few coastal towns in a few parks and on a few trees, where they roost by the hundreds and sometimes thousands.

Camping and hiking on Santa Cruz Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, gives people a chance to see the tiny Island Fox, view the Island Scrub-Jay (found nowhere else on earth), and camp on land that was part of a ranch for over a hundred years. The headlands overlooking the Pacific Ocean give a magnificent view toward the California coastline.