Bird Counts are Back!



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San Elijo Lagoon’s Pole Trail reopens soon. Bird Counts are back, and other birding news.

 Soon, work will be completed in the construction of a 4-acre refugia of coastal dune sands to provide an uninterrupted haven for nesting birds.

Our focus is to encourage the endangered California Least Tern to find this area and call it home. The sands are high enough — about 14 ft. above sea level — for birds to see the sand from the coast, over the railroad tracks, when they are flying low. 

Our bird counts are back!
The pandemic interrupted our community science monthly experience, but now volunteers are gathering monthly to observe and count bird species. We have birding data spanning decades. That’s a lot listening with our ears and following flight patterns and plumage highlights with our eyes.

This month, visit Bird Counts to download the August 2021 data. 

Soon, you will see a new antenna placed on the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center. You are looking at a MOTUS wildlife tracking system. Our partners in reserve management, California Fish + Wildlife, are monitoring and tracking birds that fly in this area using automated radio telemetry. We look forward to integrating this data into our current Bird Counts and monitoring programs. Motus is a program of Birds Canada, in partnership with collaborating organizations who work on the ecology and education of migratory animals.

Besides resident avian friends, the lagoon hosts birds passing through, as they follow their migratory patterns. Did you know that threatened and endangered bird species call the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve home? The list includes the California Least Tern, Western Snowy Plover, Ridgway’s Rail, California Gnatcatcher, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, and Least Bell’s Vireo. 

Enjoy San Diego bird sightings as you trek local trails!

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