You’ll want to tweet this post. On May 7, Angelenos will celebrate the birds of L.A. in a unique way—with the second annual Bird Day L.A., a series of countywide events connected through social media. From Deb’s Park downtown to The G2 Gallery in Venice, reaching south as far as the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and north into the San Fernando Valley, there will be many events for every level of birder, ranging from the uninitiated and tentative to the serious and sophisticated.
One key feature is there’s no cost to participate at any level, so it’s not just cheep, it’s free (sorry, couldn’t resist). For once, the spotlight will be on biodiversity, not film or fashion, celebrity or TV. Just good ol’ fashioned outdoor entertainment, enjoying nature in her exquisite rainbow of color and variety.
You’ll find enticing descriptions of the events—some led by docents, others that teach bird and wildlife photography (instructor Dave Collins shot the stunning bird images on this page)—listed by geographic area on the website at http://birdla.org/calendar/join-us-for-bird-l-a-day/2016-birdladay-events/. Bring binoculars if you have them, or borrow a pair at the Audubon-led events.
Recent research out of the Netherlands (2014) provides compelling evidence linking a widely used class of insecticides, neonicotinoids (also harmful to bees), to population declines across 14 species of birds, which is all the more reason to honor and appreciate our feathered friends. It’s been 54 years since author Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, which ultimately got DDT banned in the United States, but new threats continue to arise.
So pack a picnic and get out and enjoy our beautiful part of the planet. You may also want to join the afternoon walk at Malibu Creek State Park, then continue on to nearby Adobe Cantina for an evening of bird conversation over tacos and tamales.
—Diane Shader Smith also contributed to this story.