Eyes On Nest Sites (EONS)

In collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Bolsa Chica Conservancy (BCC) launched Eyes On Nest Sites (EONS) in 2010 to monitor nesting success of the endangered California Least Tern and threatened Western Snowy Plover colonies at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Running from March to August, EONS is designed to be an immersive program that engages the public to learn more about nesting birds and the wildlife at Bolsa Chica.

As these species are under protection, Bolsa Chica offers a unique opportunity for interested students and the general public to get up-close and observe these birds during their breeding season. Observations take place at Nest Site 1, which can be viewed at the end of the boardwalk located at the South Lot. Trained naturalists are available to provide information to the visiting public, while the public participates in recording observations of nesting birds and any wildlife activity. In particular, species identification, number of eggs, hatchlings and adults will be recorded as well as other birds and possible predators. Data collected from the observations will be recorded and analyzed by BCC and DFW biologists to determine strategies and approaches for increased success by the terns and plovers.

This program will run in conjunction with the regular surveys conducted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The extended survey hours will help acquire much needed data to better understand why these populations are failing to recover. Additionally, this activity will gather comparable data with other regions and local nesting sites, such as the Seal Beach Wildlife Refuge, the Least Tern Natural Preserve in Huntington Beach and Balboa Beach in Newport Beach. We hope to increase our knowledge by collecting relevant biological field data to better understand the needs, challenges and threats to these species, and to raise public awareness of the importance of such nesting grounds and wetland habitats. Monitoring days will be scheduled seven days a week, with three working shifts. So come and join us and participate as a volunteer in this exciting program!

The EONS program runs from April- August, depending on nesting activities. If you are interested in becoming an EONS Volunteer, please contact Jeannette Bush at 714.846.1114, jeannette@bolsachica.org, or click here to sign up online.


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