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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve - Site # 37

Snowy Egret at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Photo by Lyle Madeson: 1024x700.416

Background: This bolsa chica, or 'little pocket' of restored urban salt marsh is a haven for waterbirds, such as American wigeons, blue-winged teal, lesser scaups, brown pelicans, and great blue herons. Red-necked phalaropes, dowitchers, and other shorebirds feed on mudflats fringed with pickleweed that shelters marsh wrens and endangered Belding's savannal sparrows. From the boardwalk, use binoculars to watch two nesting islands for black skimmers and five tern species, including endangered California least terns. Look below the boardwalk for giant sea hares. Utility poles become perches for birds of prey, including ospreys and peregrine falcons. Broad mesas shelter finches, bushtits, and towhees; the grasslands attract burrowing and short-eared owls. Look for wintering monarch butterflies at the bluff overlooking a eucalyptus grove.

Viewing Tips: More than 200 bird species. High probability of seeing shorebirds in fall, waterfowl in winter. Marine birds are seen from April to August, songbirds in sprin and summer. Belding's savannah sparrows are easiest to find when singing, in March and April. Look for peregrine falcons in fall, short-eared owls from October through January. MANY CLOSED AREAS. TERNS NEST IN SAND; DO NOT DISTURB NESTING SITES.

Visitor Information: Huntington Beach Marketing & Visitors Bureau - 714-969-3492 / 800-729-6232 - http://www.surfcityusa.com

How to Get There: From Highway 405, take Warner Avenue west about 3 miles to Highway 1 junction and turn south. Continue about 1 mile on Highway 1 to entrance.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: California Department of Fish & Wildlife
Agency Site URL: 
Physical Address:Southeast corner of intersection of Warner Avenu
Huntington Beach, CA
Agency 2:3842 Warner Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92649-4263
Manager Phone:714-846-1114
Site Phone:714-846-1114
County: Orange
Addition Website:  http://bolsachica.org