Community News

Behind the Scenes for a EONS Tour

by: Bolsa Chica Conservancy
Posted: November 12, 2018

 

HUNTINGTON BEACH...The Eyes on Nest Sites (EONS) volunteers were invited on a behind the scenes tour with the Bolsa Chica Conservancy (BCC) and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to wrap-up the nesting season. We piled into vehicles and drove around to the different nesting sites. Thanks to Reserve Manager Kelly O'Reilly for hosting the group, and to BCC and CDFW volunteer Ross Griswold for leading the tour.

Observing a mini exclosure (ME) used to place over nests for protection

 

The EONS program was launched in 2010 by the BCC in collaboration with the CDFW. EONS is a public education and wildlife monitoring program primarily focused on observing the nesting success of two bird species: the endangered California Least Tern (Sternula antillarum browni) and the threatened Western Snowy Plover (Charadius alexandrinus nivosus). This year marks the 8th year of the EONS program and has been the most successful year so far not only in the number of California Least Terns succeeding to fledgling age but also in the number of people reached.

The 2018 EONS survey season extended from April 15th through July 27th and was monitored by 68 volunteers. Our EONS volunteers dedicated 979 hours of monitoring these endangered and threatened birds and recorded 6,152 observations of California Least Terns. The Least Terns were able to lay 98 eggs in those nests which hatched into 64 chicks. The first fledgling flight was recorded on June 20th and a total of 42 fledglings were observed by the end of the season.

A coyote and an Osprey that were spotted on the tour

 

Over the course of the 2018 EONS survey season, monitors reported 736 sightings of 14 common predator species resulting in 269 reactions from the Least Terns. Predator activity and diversity peaked in May but the only predation that was observed by EONS monitors was from a Common Raven (Corvus corax) in June taking 3 eggs.

It's never too early to sign up for the EONS program! It's a great way to spend a couple hours a week in the summer sun enjoying wildlife and making a difference. Pairing up with a friend is double the fun. Shifts are 2 hours long once a week from April to July or August whenever the Least Terns migrate. If you or any of your friends or family are interested in being an EONS monitor contact Jeannette the EONS coordinator at jeannette@bolsachica.org to sign up. Photos:BCConservancy


Huntington Beach News 18582 Beach Blvd. #236 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Ph. (657) 845-7475  Email: hbnews@hbquik.com

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