Category Archives: Birding

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Audubon Center at Debs Park in Highland Park will be a great stop on May 2 Bird LA Day

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Audubon has been connecting the children and families of Highland Park with nature for more than ten years, which means the Audubon Center at Debs Park will be a great place to spend all or part of Bird LA Day on May 2.

Debs Park is the fourth largest park in Los Angeles, and is full of surprises when it comes to birds. More than half of the park is covered in walnut-oak woodland, grassland, and coastal sage scrub, a remnant of the native habitats that once rimmed the Los Angeles Basin. Over 140 species of birds have been recorded there.

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Los Angeles to celebrate Bird LA Day on May 2

Los Angeles is one of the most amazing places for birds in California, if not the country. On May 2, Angelenos will celebrate the birds of LA in a unique way – with the first annual Bird LA Day, a series of de-centralized events countywide, all unified through social media. From Deb’s Park in downtown LA to The G2 Gallery in Venice, reaching as far south as The Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and as far north as The San Fernando Valley, there will be events for every level of birder ranging from the uninitiated to the serious and sophisticated.

One key feature is that there’s no cost to participate – not for the organizers, nor the participants. For once, the spotlight will be on LA’s biodiversity, not film or fashion, celebrity or TV. Just good old fashioned outdoor entertainment.

“Los Angeles has some of the most diverse bird life in the state, or even the country,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society. “We want this event to open people’s eyes to the incredible beauty and variety of nature around them.”

For a complete listing of events, visit: http://www.birdladay.org.

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Los Angeles once again leads in Great Backyard Bird Count participation

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This town known for the movie business, freeways and surfing may need to add another one to the list: birdwatching. With the recent release of data from February’s Great Backyard Bird Count, a nationwide birding event, comes news that Los Angeles led all United States counties in the number of reports and species.

Early results show that during the period of Feb. 14-17, bird enthusiasts in Los Angeles County submitted 816 checklists identifying 258 different species. San Diego County also had a strong with 488 checklists and 220 species, and Humboldt County with 358 checklists and 196 species.

“It’s really an impressive turnout from Angelenos,” said Brigid McCormack, Audubon California’s Executive Director. “Despite the county’s reputation for urban and suburban development, this level of participation shows that Los Angeles residents have a deep appreciation for birds and the natural world around them. It also shows that the cities and birdlife are not incompatible. It also shows that the urban environment and birdlife are not incompatible.”

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The next Bird L.A. Day is May 2, 2015

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We’re planning another Bird L.A. Day for May 2 of this year, so mark your calendars. This is going to be huge, with events and activities all over the greater Los Angeles area. More details coming soon …

Birding

Guy starting looking at birds while skateboarding, starts a blog

It’s all the in the headline.

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Quick recap of last week’s Birds Over Broadway

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We had about 50 people at last Friday’s Birds Over Broadway event in downtown Los Angeles. Our colleagues from the Audubon Center at Debs Park manned the roof of the parking structure at 440 S. Broadway, while our partners at the Santa Monica Mountain Park Rangers were down at the Spring Street Park. While the numbers of Vaux’s Swifts have been very high in Northern California (upwards of 20,000 birds at one location in San Rafael), we only had about 300 birds on Friday night. That was down from approximately 1,200 birds a couple nights earlier. Two theories for the low numbers are that a) maybe the birds aren’t down here yet; and b) maybe they’ve found another roosting site. Audubon and its friends have been combing the basin looking for a potential second site, but haven’t found it yet. Anyway, it was still a great time. Lots of birds doing their thing, and people watching them.

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Join us for Bird L.A. Day on May 3

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Join Bird L.A., Audubon chapters, and other cool groups for a super fun, de-centralized all-day celebration of birds all over LA County that we’re calling Bird L.A. Day. And if you can’t make it out to one of events, don’t worry, we’ll bet you can just step outside anywhere and see something with feathers and wings dashing by.

There’s truly something amazing happening in the skies over LA. Since the first of the year, birders have spotted more than 340 bird species in L.A. County. That’s a huge diversity of species. From the desert, to the coast and everywhere in between, we have some pretty awesome birds and all over the county, people are gathering together to check them out.

We’ll have more about Bird L.A. in the coming days.

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Walk Spotlight – Fern Dell 4-12

Fern Dell

This Saturday, join Audubon California, Bird LA, and Friends of Griffith Park for an easy and family friendly beginner Bird Walk at Griffith Park’s historic Fern Dell.  We’re going to check out if any birds are nesting and learn some of the more common birds in the canyon.  You can bring your own binoculars or Audubon will have a limited number to loan.

Fern Dell is this really cool place in Griffith Park.  And if this weather holds, it will be a good idea to be in a cool spot. Not to mention we will be meeting at  Trails Café, home of good coffee and some amazing scones!

Meet us just above Fern Dell’s Trails Café at 9 a.m (we’ll be out for about an hour).  Trails Café is on Fern Dell Drive about a quarter-mile north of Los Feliz Blvd.  Look for the Friends of Griffith Park banner.  Park on the street or parking lot further up the road.

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Los Angeles leads all U.S. counties in nationwide bird count

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This town known for the movie business, freeways and surfing may need to add another one to the list: birdwatching. With the recent release of data from February’s Great Backyard Bird Count, a nationwide birding event, comes news that Los Angeles led all United States counties in the number of reports and species. During the period of Feb. 14-17, bird enthusiasts in Los Angeles County submitted 1,270 checklists identifying 264 different species. New York’s Suffolk County came in second with 956 checklists and Fairfax County, VA, with 780.

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Walk Spotlight – The Urban Core 3-8

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Sometimes the unique name of a bird walk grabs our attention.  In this case, it’s Pasadena Audubon’s walk this Saturday simply called, “The Urban Core”. This walk, led by Jon Feenstra, will be taking in the sights and sounds of some really cool places in Los Angeles, but not places generally thought about for their nature.  But as we all know, LA can always surprise us, even the middle of an urban community.   The walk begins at MacArthur Park (bright and early at 7:00 am) and then make its way to Echo Park and possibly Silver Lake.   MacArthur Park may possibly the best place in the County to observe gulls. Thayer’s Gull is a regular winter visitor, and various and mysterious hybrids are also often present. Because all of these locations have year-round water, they often attract a surprising diversity of waterfowl and other birds.

Jon is a great guide for this walk and we wanted to touch base with him to ask him why he choose to do this walk. He says, “MacArthur Park by virtue of it being an isolated patch of “habitat” has a concentrating effect on whatever birdlife might be passing through the city. Also, there is often an interesting and diverse collection of gulls present – a fun and challenging group of birds to sort out. Lastly, I like birding where other people aren’t. It’s more exciting to find new birds.”

Yup! Always exciting see new birds.  And if you’re looking to bird in  unique spots, this is the walk for you. Here are the details:

Meet at the Levitt Pavilion in the northwest corner of MacArthur Park at 7:00AM, March 8th. Metered parking there costs $2 for two hours.

MacArthur Park photo by Ian Friemuth