Birds of a Feather
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
USE CCA’S CITIZEN SCIENCE TOOLS TO STUDY WINTERING BIRDS IN THE PARK.
Winter might bring cooler temperatures to Crystal Cove, but for those willing to brave the chilly air, it’s a great time to see birds in the Park. Many shore birds migrate south once temperatures begin to drop in the northern latitudes, so the month of December brings seasonal visitors to Crystal Cove. This small window during the winter is a great time to watch all kinds of migrants passing through.
Visitors to the Park have already noted a large number of brown pelicans coming through. Once on the brink of extinction due to pesticides, they’re now one of the greatest success stories of the Endangered Species Act and are fairly common once more. You might see them flying in large V-shaped formations or diving for fish in Crystal Cove’s near shore waters.
December is also a great month for citizen scientists who happen to be bird enthusiasts. Every year from Dec. 15 to Jan. 5, Audubon hosts its annual Christmas Bird Count. Though Crystal Cove State Park is not an official location for the count, visitors can still get involved in tracking the Park’s feathered friends by logging sightings on online citizen science databases such as eBird. Those interested in learning more about Crystal Cove State Park’s birds can also join in on a Moro Canyon Bird Walk on Sunday, Dec. 7, leaving at 8 a.m. from the Berns Environmental Study Loop Amphitheater.
For more information on citizen science opportunities in the Park, visit crystalcovebeachcottages.com/education/citizenscience.php.