Hello everyone! It has been a very busy and very productive week in Los Angeles. To start with, Lupita, who was interning in Mexico, will now be interning at LA Audubon as well! We both reconnected at an educational event we did at Normandie Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles. We assisted our supervisor in an educational event discussing things that are harmful to the watershed and what we can do to minimize our impacts. It was so nice to work with the 4th and 5th graders and see the amount of knowledge they already had on the topics brought up to them. Their bubbly and quirky personalities were a big plus, and I enjoyed seeing them very engaged in the activity.
The following day was training for Least Terns. Our supervisor discussed how to conduct surveys for this species and how crows are the main predator for the Least Terns. Upon seeing eggs, the crows will flock to them and prevent the eggs from developing by ingesting them. The Least Tern is very vulnerable to disturbances, and will often leave the area completely if there is a disturbance such as a dog running into the closed off area of the beach.
After this training, Lupita and I traveled to all the sites where surveys are done. We went to Dockweiler Beach, Santa Monica Beach, Malibu Lagoon, and Ballona Freshwater Marsh. These areas were very busy due to the weekend and it being very hot. My favorite of these locations was Malibu Lagoon. The parking for this site was very small and there weren’t as many people in this area. Aside from having the beach, it had a lagoon where we saw sandpipers and Whimbrels. This site had one thing the other sites didn’t, a Snowy Plover nest! Throughout my time interning I had not seen a Snowy Plover at all. This was definitely a great first time experience. The snowy had a metal cage on top of its nest to protect both the nest and the bird from predators and disturbances. I look forward to hopefully being involved in monitoring the nest and that it results in a successful hatchling!