Welcome to Lake Los Angeles, a beautiful natural habitat for many species of birds. The lake is home to a wide variety of birds, both migratory and resident.
Residents include species such as the American Coot, the Great Egret, the Western Grebe, the White-tailed Kite, and the Cooper’s Hawk.
Migrants make their way through the lake during the winter months, including the Red-tailed Hawk, the Savannah Sparrow, and the White-throated Sparrow.
Here at Lake Los Angeles, you can enjoy bird watching, as well as the many other recreational activities the lake has to offer.
1. Great Blue Heron
The great blue heron is a majestic bird found near bodies of water in a wide range of habitats throughout North and Central America, and certain parts of South America, the Caribbean, and the Galápagos Islands.
It is part of the Ardeidae family, a group of wading birds that includes egrets and bitterns. The great blue heron can reach a height of up to 4.5 feet tall and a wingspan of nearly 6 feet. It has a long, S-shaped neck and a long beak that is perfect for catching fish.
Its feathers consist of grey and white, and its legs are usually yellowish-green. The great blue heron is usually seen wading in shallow water, standing still, and waiting for its prey.
It is an opportunistic predator, feeding on a variety of small animals such as fish, frogs, snakes, and insects. It also readily eats carrion and sometimes steals food from other birds.
The great blue heron is a solitary bird for most of the year, but during the breeding season, they are often seen in large colonies. They build large stick nests in trees near the water and both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young.
The great blue heron is an impressive bird that is a pleasure to watch as it wades through the water or soars high above. It is an important part of the ecosystem and can be found in many different habitats throughout the Americas.
2. American White Pelican
The American white pelican is a majestic bird belonging to the order Pelecaniformes. It is known for its large size and its ability to soar gracefully above the water.
It breeds in interior North American areas, but during the winter it can be found migrating south and to the coasts as far as Costa Rica.
It is an incredible sight to see the white pelicans flying in formation, their long wings outstretched and their necks curved in an elegant S-shape. The white pelican is an impressive bird with a wingspan of up to nine feet and a distinctive, all-white body.
It has a large bill that it uses to scoop up fish, its main food source. During the breeding season, the American white pelican can be found in large colonies on shallow lakes and wetlands, nesting and raising their young.
The white pelican is a symbol of beauty and grace, and its presence in our skies is a reminder of the great diversity of life in our world.
3. California Quail
The California quail is a small, ground-dwelling bird from the New World quail family. It is distinguishable by its curved crest or plume, which is made up of six feathers. The plume is black on males and brown on females. Both sexes have brown flanks with white streaks.
This species of quail is also known as the California Valley quail or Valley quail. The California quail is a small bird with a large plume that is seen as a symbol of the state of California. Its large, brown wings are tipped in white and its body is a light brown color.
The head is a darker brown color with two white stripes that run from the eyes to the back of the neck. The plume is usually black on males and brown on females.
The flanks are brown with white streaks. The California quail is a gregarious species and lives in small groups known as “coveys”. It prefers to inhabit areas with dense vegetation, which provides cover from predators. Its diet consists of seeds, insects, and berries.
The California quail is a common game bird in the western United States. It is hunted for its tasty meat and for sport. It is also kept as a pet and is a popular species for backyard aviaries.
The California quail is a unique bird and is an iconic symbol of the state of California. Its striking appearance and curious behavior make it an interesting bird to observe and enjoy.
4. Pied-Billed Grebe
The Pied-billed Grebe is a species of water bird belonging to the Grebe family. It is the only species left in its genus, Podilymbus, after the Atitlán grebe became extinct. This species is mostly found in ponds located in the Americas.
It has a unique black and white bill and is a member of the dabchick family, which is a group of small birds with lobed toes. The Pied-Billed Grebe has adapted to its environment by using its feet to propel itself underwater, making it an excellent swimmer.
Its wings are short and its feathers are waterproof, enabling it to stay afloat. The Pied-billed Grebe is also known for its elaborate mating displays which involve head-bobbing, chasing, and loud calls.
It is an important bird in the Americas, providing food for many species and helping to control the local water population.
5. Black-Crowned Night heron
The black-crowned night heron, also known as the black-capped night heron, is a heron species that is found in many parts of the world. Its range is vast, including regions in Europe, Asia, and both North and South America.
It is a medium-sized heron, with an overall length of up to 25 inches and a wingspan of up to 39 inches. The black-crowned night heron is a solitary species, typically foraging in small groups of up to five individuals.
The black-crowned night heron is an omnivorous species, taking advantage of a variety of prey including small fishes, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects. They also feed on small mammals, reptiles, and birds.
During the breeding season, they nest in colonies, with up to fifteen pairs nesting in a single colony.
The nests are constructed of sticks and twigs and are usually found in trees and shrubs close to water. The black-crowned night heron is a wide-ranging species, with its population considered to be stable throughout much of its range.
However, it is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to declines in some parts of its range. The species is also threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive species.
Conservation measures, such as habitat protection and the establishment of protected areas, are important for the continued survival of this species.
6. Snowy Egret
The snowy egret is a small white heron species native to wetlands in many parts of the world. Its genus name, Egretta, comes from Provençal French and is a diminutive of the word “aigron,” which is the word for the heron. The species name, thula, is an interesting story.
It was given to the snowy egret in error by Chilean naturalist Juan Ignacio Molina in 1782. He thought it was a black-necked swan, and applied the Araucano term for the swan, thula, to the egret species instead.
Despite the mistake, the name stuck and is now the scientific name for the species.
7. Great Egret
The great egret is a large and widespread species of bird found in a variety of habitats around the world. It is also known as the common egret, large egret, or great white egret, or great white heron.
There are four distinct subspecies of the great egret, which are found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe.
In recent years, the great egret has been observed in more northern regions of Europe, suggesting that its range is gradually increasing. The great egret is a majestic bird, with a long neck, a long, slender bill, and a white plumage.
Its legs are black and it has a yellowish bill. The great egret is a formidable hunter, preying on fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and small mammals.
It is an opportunistic forager, wading through shallow waters and stalking its prey. The great egret is a valuable species in ecosystems around the world, as it helps to control populations of small mammals and insects that can cause damage to crops and other vegetation.
It is also a significant part of the food chain, as other animals prey on the great egret. Unfortunately, the great egret is threatened by habitat destruction, water pollution, and hunting.
Its numbers have decreased in many areas, and it is now listed as an endangered species in some parts of the world. With continued conservation efforts, the great egret can still be saved from extinction.
8. Black-Necked Stilt
The black-necked stilt is a species of shorebird native to the wetlands and coastlines of the United States. It is a locally abundant species, meaning it can be found in large numbers in certain areas.
Its range begins in the coastal areas of California and extends into the interior western United States, including states such as Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.
It is also found along the Gulf Coast, from Texas to Florida, and along the Atlantic Coast, from Virginia to South Carolina. The black-necked stilt is a highly specialized species, adapted to living in shallow, highly saline wetlands and coastal areas.
It feeds on insects, small fish, and crustaceans. The species is also known for its long, pink legs and its bright white plumage, which can be seen from a distance.
The black-necked stilt is an important species in its habitat, providing a number of valuable ecological services, such as helping to maintain wetland health and providing food for other species.
9. American Kestrel
The American kestrel, also known as the sparrow hawk, is a small and widespread falcon that is found in North America. This creature is among the smallest and most common falcon species in the region and is characterized by its two-to-one size range over subspecies and sex.
The size of these birds can range from about the weight of a blue jay to a mourning dove, meaning that they can range from quite small to larger sizes.
This variation in size is one of the defining characteristics of this species, allowing them to adapt to different environments and to hunt different prey. This species is also known for its distinct coloration, with a mixture of brown, white, and gray feathers.
The American kestrel is a unique and interesting creature that has adapted to thrive in North America.
10. Western Grebe
The western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) is a species of bird in the grebe family of water birds. It is a fairly large bird, with a total length of up to 58 cm, and a wingspan of up to 70 cm. It has a long neck and a very distinct black and white plumage.
It is easily identifiable by its long, slender neck and its white cheeks, which contrast sharply with its dark head and body. The western grebe has several folk names, including “dabchick”, “swan grebe” and “swan-necked grebe”.
These names are a reference to its slender neck and white cheeks, which bear a resemblance to that of a swan.
The western grebe is also known for its graceful swimming abilities and its spectacular courtship displays, during which the birds will often dance on the surface of the water. The western grebe is found in western North America, from Alaska and British Columbia in the north to California and Mexico in the south.
It is a migratory species, with some populations moving south for the winter. It prefers to inhabit freshwater lakes and ponds, but can also be found in brackish estuaries and coastal bays. The western grebe feeds on small fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants.
It often dives underwater to forage and can remain submerged for up to 45 seconds. The birds typically breed in late spring and summer, building a floating nest out of aquatic vegetation.
The female will lay 2-4 eggs, and both parents will help to incubate them until they hatch. The young are able to swim and forage on their own shortly after hatching.
11. American Avocet
The American Avocet is a species of large water bird belonging to the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. It is native to North America and can be found in both coastal and inland wetlands.
The American Avocet is a graceful wader with a long, thin bill that curves up at the tip.
It is distinctive for its white and black plumage, featuring white underparts and black wings, back, and head. The American avocet spends much of its time foraging in shallow water or on mud flats for food.
It searches for its prey by sweeping its bill from side to side in the water, picking up crustaceans and insects. Its diet also consists of small fish, worms, aquatic insects, and other small animals.
American avocets may also feed on seeds and plant matter. The American Avocet is an important species in the wetland habitat. It helps to control insect populations in wetlands and keeps the water clean by filtering out sediment.
Additionally, it serves as a food source for predatory birds and mammals. The American Avocet is a protected species in the United States and is listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Despite this, it is still vulnerable to human activities such as pollution, habitat destruction, and hunting. Therefore, it is important that we continue to protect and conserve this species in order to ensure its survival.
Grebes are a type of aquatic bird found all over the world in both freshwater and marine habitats. They belong to the order Podicipediformes, which is composed of diving birds.
Grebes are known for their ability to fly, and some species migrate to different habitats during the winter, with some species even traveling to marine environments. Some species of grebes, however, are flightless and can be found in stable lakes.
These flightless species are the most notable of all, as they are the only grebes that cannot fly. Grebes are unique birds that are widely distributed throughout the world, and they can be found in both freshwater and marine habitats.
13. Western Sandpiper
The western sandpiper is a small shorebird belonging to the genus Calidris. Its name is derived from the Ancient Greek word “kalidris” or “skalidris”, which was used by Aristotle to describe grey-colored waterside birds.
The species Calidris mauri is named after Ernesto Mauri, an Italian botanist. The specific name of Mauri pays tribute to Mauri’s contributions to botany and his appreciation of birdlife. This species of bird is found in both North and South America, usually in coastal areas.
They are known to feed on small invertebrates such as worms and crustaceans and are often spotted in large flocks. Western sandpipers are important indicators of the health of the environment, making them valuable species to monitor.
14. Western Bluebird
The western bluebird is a type of bird that is native to North America. It is a small, colorful species of thrush that is found in open woodlands, agricultural areas, and grasslands. It is a member of the bird family Turdidae, which includes more than 300 species of thrushes.
The western bluebird is a striking bird with a bright blue back, wings, and tail, and a reddish-orange breast and belly. Its distinctive call is a melodious warbling. The western bluebird feeds mainly on insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars.
It also eats wild fruits and berries. It is most active during the day in spring and summer when it searches for food on the ground or in low shrubs.
During the winter, it sometimes forms large flocks with other birds to share food and stay warm. The western bluebird nests in cavities of trees, fence posts, and birdhouses. The female lays 3 to 6 white eggs that hatch after about two weeks.
The chicks leave the nest about two weeks after hatching. The western bluebird is a popular sight in North America and it is considered a sign of good luck. However, it is threatened by habitat destruction and by competition from other birds.
It is important to protect the habitat of the western bluebird in order to ensure its future survival.
15. Summer Tanager
The summer tanager is a medium-sized American songbird that was formerly classified as part of the tanager family. However, in recent years, it and other members of its genus have been reclassified as part of the cardinal family.
This reclassification is based on the similarities in the species’ plumage and vocalizations, which are similar to other members of the cardinal family.
The summer tanager has a bright yellow body and black wings and tail, with faint white streaking along the edges of its wings and tail. Its songs are typically composed of simple, melodic phrases, similar to those of other cardinals.
The summer tanager can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, parks, grasslands, and even urban areas. It typically feeds on insects, fruits, and seeds.
The summer tanager is an important species in many ecosystems, providing food for other animals and helping to disperse the seeds of plants and trees.
16. Western Kingbird
The western kingbird is a large bird species belonging to the tyrant flycatcher family. It is native to western regions of North America, ranging from the United States to as far south as Mexico. It typically inhabits open areas such as grasslands, deserts, and even woodlands.
It is a distinctive species, with a gray head, yellow underside, and black tail. The western kingbird is about 7-8 inches long and has a wingspan of up to 12 inches. This species is mainly a solitary bird, however, during the breeding season, they may form small colonies.
They feed on a variety of insects, as well as some fruits and berries. They typically hunt by sitting on a perch and swooping down to capture their prey.
They also have an impressive aerial acrobatic display when courting. The western kingbird is a common species throughout its range and is not considered to be threatened by humans. It is a valuable species for insect control since it helps to limit the populations of pests.
It is also an important species in the food chain since it provides food for larger predators such as hawks and owls. Overall, the western kingbird is an essential part of the environment of western North America.
17. Black Phoebe
The black phoebe is a type of bird that belongs to the tyrant-flycatcher family. This species is found in many places, ranging from the southwestern part of Oregon and California all the way to Central and South America.
In these areas, the black phoebe is present all year round and only undergoes minimal seasonal migration. However, its northern populations are known to migrate to other places during certain periods.
The black phoebe is unique among other birds of its genus due to its limited migration patterns. The black phoebe is a medium-sized bird, about six to seven inches long. Its body is predominantly black and gray with white spots on its wings.
Its tail is long and slightly forked, making it easy to recognize in flight. Its call is a loud, high-pitched “che-bek” sound. This species prefers to inhabit open areas with trees or shrubs, such as riverside woodlands, woodland edges, and parks.
It feeds on small insects, such as flies, wasps, and beetles, which they catch in mid-air. During the breeding season, the male and female build a cup-shaped nest near the water, usually in a tree or bush.
They lay two to four eggs and take turns incubating them until they hatch. The black phoebe is an important species in its environment. Its presence helps to regulate insect populations, and its nest materials provide shelter for other small birds.
In addition, its presence can also act as an indicator of good water quality. As a result, conservation efforts are underway to keep its population stable and protect its habitat.
18. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
The lesser black-backed gull is a species of large gull that is found along the Atlantic coasts of Europe. During the breeding season, it can be found in areas ranging from the British Isles to northern Europe.
It is migratory, meaning that it will travel south to winter in areas such as the British Isles and West Africa.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of lesser black-backed gulls in North America, with the birds being most common along the east coast.
Although formerly these birds were only seen during the winter months, it is now becoming increasingly common to see them throughout the year. This suggests that more of these birds are now staying in North America for longer periods of time, rather than just passing through.
19. Clark’s Grebe
The Clark’s Grebe is a species of waterbird found in North America that belongs to the Grebe family. It was only in the 1980s that it was identified as a species distinct from the Western grebe, which it is similar to in size, range, and behavior.
People have also observed hybrids between the two species, which is further evidence that Clark’s grebe is a separate species. The Clark’s grebe is found in western North America, from Alaska to California and even as far south as Mexico.
It lives on freshwater marshes, ponds, and lakes, and feeds on small aquatic creatures like water insects, crustaceans, and fish. It has a long neck and a slender body with a black head and neck, and a white throat and underside.
The Clark’s Grebe is a migratory species and can be seen in different parts of its range throughout the year. It is considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
20. White-Tailed Kite
The white-tailed kite is a small raptor that is native to parts of western North America and parts of South America. It is related to the Old World black-winged kite, but the white-tailed kite is the species that inhabit the Americas.
This species of kite is quite small, with a wingspan of about 25 inches. Its main distinguishing feature is its white tail feathers, which give it its name.
The white-tailed kite is a fairly common sight in its native range and is often seen soaring above open fields and grasslands. Its diet consists mainly of small rodents, insects, and reptiles, and it is an expert hunter.
The kite can also be seen hovering in the air, using its sharp eyesight to spot prey from a great distance. The white-tailed kite is a much-beloved bird, and its presence is welcomed by many wildlife enthusiasts.
21. Ring-Necked Duck
The Ring-necked Duck is a species of diving duck that is native to North America. It is often seen inhabiting freshwater ponds and lakes and is known for its distinctive ring-shaped markings on its neck.
The scientific name of the Ring-necked Duck is derived from two sources: Greek “aithuia”, an unidentified seabird that was mentioned by authors such as Hesychius and Aristotle, and Latin “collaris”, which means “of the neck”.
This name is derived from the Latin word “collum”, which means “neck”. The scientific name of the Ring-necked Duck, therefore, alludes to its distinctive ring-shaped neck markings.
These markings are one of the key features that distinguish this species from other species of ducks.
Birds in Lake Los Angeles are a vital part of the local ecosystem, providing food, shelter, and other resources for other wildlife and humans alike.
They are also a source of joy and awe for visitors to the area, providing a glimpse into the beauty and wonder of nature. The conservation of the birds and their habitats is essential for the ongoing health of the lake and its surrounding communities.