Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Endangered birds found nesting near Westside development

June 7, 2010 |  8:43 am

An avian discovery

A bird the size of a soda can is ruffling the waters at Playa Vista, and bird-lovers are greeting the news with chirps of joy.

Biologists and amateur birders have discovered two pairs of federally endangered least Bell's vireos nesting at or near the development.

One pair of the mousy gray-and-white songsters have taken up residence in the restored riparian corridor at the northern edge of the Playa Vista community. Their nest — about the size of an average human hand — holds four eggs, typical for the species, biologists say.

The other pair have nested in a willow thicket on a state-owned ecological reserve just west of the Playa Vista freshwater marsh at the southwest corner of Lincoln and Jefferson boulevards. An identification band on the female indicates that she migrated from Camp Pendleton. At least one baby has shown its head in that nest.

Although least Bell's vireos have previously been spotted foraging for insects in the Ballona area, "there is no record of their having nested there for more than a hundred years," said Edith Read, a biologist who manages the freshwater marsh.

Read the full story here.

-- Martha Groves in Playa Vista

Photo: Two pairs of the endangered least Bell's vireo have been found at or near the Playa Vista development. Credit: Don Sterba