At Home at the Cove
At Home at the CoveUNUSUAL ANIMAL SIGHTINGS AT CRYSTAL COVE PROVE THAT NO ONE EVER WANTS TO LEAVE THE BEACH.
At this time of year, Western gulls have normally said their goodbyes to Crystal Cove, migrating to offshore islands where they’ll nest and build their families. Earlier this summer, however, CCA team members had a rare sighting of a newly hatched gull chick popping its head from the nest atop a cottage on the South Beach. Every day, the chick slowly began to build its feathers, and this August, it’s expected to fledge—a stage approximately 70 days after hatching in which the feathers and wing muscles are sufficiently developed for the bird to take flight.
One of five seagull varieties that are commonly spotted at Crystal Cove, the Western gull is famous for the red dots on its beaks. It’s a fun fact that when a red dot approaches—even if it’s just painted on a piece of wood—chicks will open their beaks in anticipation of a meal from their mom. As the baby birds eat and gain their strength in anticipation of leaving the nest, it’s an important lesson in the cycle of life at Crystal Cove. Every animal, even those like the Western gulls who don’t naturally nest on this shore, must learn to adapt to new surroundings and thrive in order to survive—it’s a natural cycle that CCA strives to protect in its conservation efforts.