Situated between the Pacific Coast Highway and active oil derricks, the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve appears at first glance to be more of a wasteland than a valuable wetland. However, these revered grounds are one of the best birding spots in the United States, attracting flocks migrating the Pacific Flyway between North and South America. Nearly 200 bird species are documented in Bolsa Chica each year, including many rare and endangered species. Sightings of great blue herons, snowy egrets and brown pelicans are common; lucky visitors can even spot a rare white pelican at the right time of the year. So bring your binoculars, layered warm clothing and camera with a telephoto lens. Depending on the season, observers report multiple varieties of Finches, Grebes, Hummingbirds, Kinglets, Loons, Owls, Swallows and Terns, as well as other coastal birds such as Avocets, Cormorants, Ducks, Egrets, Gulls, Herons, Kingfishers, Sandpipers, Surf Scoters and Stilts. The best place to observe Bolsa Chica wildlife is from the footbridge and trail just off Pacific Coast Highway. Two different volunteer support groups also offer free tours leaving the parking lot at this location. The Amigos de Bolsa Chica tour is on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.to 10:30 a.m. The Bolsa Chica Land Trust tour is on the third Sunday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon. Both tours follow a loop trail through the wetlands and are hosted by trained guides who discuss identification of birds, ecology, endangered species, and the early history and current status of the wetlands. No reservations are required. For more information, contact the Amigos de Bolsa Chica at 714-840-1575. The Bolsa Chica Land Trust can be reached at 714-846-1001. With the goal of returning the wetlands to its pre-1900 condition as a major wildlife stop where millions of birds travel, rest, feed and nest, restoration of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands has been going on for some time. It includes construction of a new ocean channel, tidal basins, island habitats and pedestrian bridges that connect the wetlands to the beach via Pacific Coast Highway. Funded largely by the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports, restoration calls for 370 acres of full tidal and 180 acres of muted tidal habitats. The first phase, which includes cutting a tidal inlet through the south end of Bolsa Chica State Beach and across Pacific Coast Highway, was completed in summer 2006.
Join the Amigos for our informative and fun Bird Talk & Nature Walk led by our docents. Bolsa Chica is home to over 200 species of birds seen...View details
This fun and free Public Tour of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands is hosted by the Amigos De Bolsa Chica every First Saturday of the month. Led by trained...View details