Wednesday, September 22, 2010

L.A. County Parks to Better Protect Birds Nests

Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation will try an experimental landscape maintenance program in an effort to help nesting birds at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. Officials came up with the plan in cooperation with the California Dept. of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Birders complained to the county in February after a marsh wren nest was disturbed at Legg Lake when workers removed cattails. The lake, one of Whittier Narrows’ three man-made lakes, has been declared a wildlife preserve, and its two islands have been designated as bird sanctuaries. The new maintenance schedule will restrict tree trimming and other landscaping to winter months, although efforts will be made year-round to avoid disturbing any nest.

In addition, bird-viewing stations will be installed where blue herons and cormorants build nests in the eucalyptus trees near the edge of the lake.

If the plan works, it will be extended to the Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park (Puddingstone) in San Dimas, and to the Castaic Lake Recreation Area.