Articles

Ojai bird count effort takes flight

051117lake casitas bald eagles 1 photo courtesy linda frazier
Photo by Linda Frazier
The Lake Casitas bald eagles perch near their nest during a full moon.
Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News correspondence
A group of local birders conducted a bird count in the Ojai Valley Apr. 28. The goal was to see how many species of birds they could find in one day, during spring migration. The birders also wanted to see how the local bird population was doing, given ever-shrinking habitat and a severe five-year drought.  
The Ojai Valley Big Day of Birding was inspired by a program known worldwide as International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD). “I started thinking about something we could do to celebrate IMBD, and bring awareness to bird conservation in the Ojai Valley and Ventura County,” said Ojai ornithologist Jesse Grantham.
Before dawn, Grantham, and fellow birders Bill Shanbrom and Rick Ridgeway, grabbed their binoculars and drove to areas including Matilija Canyon, Wheeler Gorge Campground, the Ojai Meadows Preserve, Krotona Institute and Lake Casitas. During the 15-hour count, they tallied 121 different bird species.

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