Silk Oak

A good strategy to find some colorful spring migrants is to look for these trees.  An Australian native also called “Silky Oak”.  Keep your eyes open, and starting in mid-April you’ll notice clusters of them flowering in parks and neighborhoods throughout the city.  Western tanagers, orioles, black-headed grosbeak, Nashville warblers, and cedar waxwings love feeding on the nectar rich blooms.

California Gnatcatcher

A champion of coastal sage scrub conservation.  Federally listed in 1993.  Look for these non-migratory little birds on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Newport Back Bay, and places in between if you get lucky.

Photo by Kim Moore taken at the White Point Nature Preserve.

Upcoming Field Trips

Lots of walks coming up!  Gum Grove park on 4/16.  Irvine Regional Park on 4/19. Huntington Central Park on 4/23.  San Joaquin Marsh on 4/24.  Check the events calendar for details.

Photo credit to Virginia Aragon.  A common yellowthroat that got caught up in the moment and forgot that it was supposed to be hiding in the undergrowth.

Earth Day Garden Party Sunday April 24, by Janice Dahl

All Audubon members are welcome to celebrate Earth Day at the garden party hosted by Catherine and Bob Waters on Sunday April 24 from 1:00 – 5:00 PM in Downey. Decades long members and supporters of the Audubon Society, they are native plant gardeners who created a small bird sanctuary and native plant garden on a vacant lot adjacent to their house. Over 130 species of birds have visited the sanctuary since its inception and we’re sure to be delighted with a variety of birds on April 24. In past years the garden has been shown on the Theodore Payne Foundation annual native plant garden tour and featured in WildBird, Hobby Farm and Backyard Birding magazines. To RSVP and get directions email or call Cat Waters at 562-869-6718.


Wilson’s Warbler

Suddenly these guys are everywhere!  Bright yellow with a dark cap.  Look for them flitting around in willows, sycamores, and brushy thickets.

On a different note… May 7 is “Bird LA Day” and May 14 is “Global Big Day.”  Check our events calendar for birdwatching opportunities.

Photo by Kim Moore

Least Terns

The least terns (our chapter’s namesake) start to arrive in mid-April.  We’ll visit a nesting colony at Huntington State Beach on Saturday, June 4th- just about the time when the chicks are hatching.  Photo from last year’s trip by Jerry Millett.

Ash-throated Flycatcher

This migrant likes to perch on the edges of weedy and/or grassy fields, but can also be found in neighborhoods.  They usually make an appearance in the open area under the power poles at the West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail in Lakewood and at the Los Cerritos Wetlands.  We have a walk scheduled there on 4/9.  Check the events calendar.  Fun fact: They like to line their nests with hair.  The source? Coyote scat.  Photo by Jerry Millett.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Yet another migrant arrives.  Photo taken in Long Beach by Cynthia Dunbar at her home feeder.  Usually found in the upper level of trees.  Their song is described as “robin like.”  They can be regularly seen in Gum Grove Park during migration.  We have a walk scheduled there on 4/16.  See the events calendar for information.

Least Bell’s Vireo

These little guys were listed as a state endangered species in 1980 and a federally endangered species in 1986.  Happily, they seem to be making a comeback.  The largest populations occur on Camp Pendleton and in the Prado Basin.  You can find them at Prado Regional Park and San Joaquin Marsh in Irvine.  They have a distinct song described at “tweeedle-deedle-dum? tweedle-deedle-dee!”  First phrase up, second phrase down.  This picture was taken by Kim Moore of a vireo in Seal Beach, singing with the passion of a miniature mockingbird.

Yellow Warbler

The spring invasion continues!  These brilliant little warblers are starting to show up.  Strongly associated with willow thickets and cottonwoods, they like to move to the top and sing.  Start looking for them at El Dorado Nature Center, Huntington Central Park, and West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail.  Photo credit to Jerry Millett.