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Changing Season of Bird Life at Bolsa Chica

Posted on: Mar 22, 2016 / Conservator Q1 2016 / 0 COMMENTS

By Claire Grozinger

Changing Seasons of Birds_Bufflehead_Vince Thomas (Photographer)

Photo by: Vince Thomas

Changing Seasons of Birds_Ibis_Paul Paleo (Photographer)

Photo by: Paul Paleo

March is an interesting time to go bird-watching in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. This month is a crossover period when migratory birds traveling both north and south along the Pacific Flyway merge with the resident species of Bolsa Chica.


Bolsa Chica has two distinct seasons of bird life, both with distinct populations of migratory birds. In summer, we host breeding colonies of several tern species, including the largest colony of Elegant Terns in the USA. In winter, shorebirds and waterbirds predominate.


In March, the shorebirds, ducks, loons, and grebes are starting their journeys northward to their breeding grounds, some as far north as the Arctic. On the other hand, by the end of March, terns are starting to arrive from the south and are getting settled into their nesting areas.

This is a great time of year to polish off your binoculars and visit Bolsa Chica!

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