The Hansen Dam basin, along the Tujunga Creek tributary of the Los Angeles River, is one of the “birdiest” spots in the Los Angeles Region – nearly 290 species of birds have been found there. On our walk we’ll explore willow forests, scrublands, wetlands and landscaped park areas at the peak of spring migration. The lakes will be full and the area will be lush with vegetation after the winter’s ample rains.
Museum ornithologists Kimball Garrett and Allison Shultz will lead the bird walk. If you have binoculars, please bring them, but we’ll have a spotting scope for close-up views of cooperative birds, and we will bring a few binoculars to lend.
Our walk will begin at 8:00 a.m.; plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. We should wrap up by 11:00 a.m.
Meet at the Hansen Dam Recreation Center parking lot off Foothill Blvd. at the Osborne St. exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. GPS coordinates: 34° 16’ 23.78” N -118° 23’ 01.01” W
From the 210 (Foothill) Freeway (east- or west-bound) exit at Osborne St./Lake View Terrace. Turn west on Foothill Blvd. and go a short 0.2 miles to the Hansen Dam Recreation Center parking lot entrance on the left.
From the I-5 (Golden State) Freeway, exit at Osborne St. Turn north and go 2.6 miles to Foothill Blvd. Turn east (right) on Foothill Blvd. and go 0.6 miles to the entrance to the Hansen Dam Recreation Center parking lot on the right.
We’ll meet at the paved parking lot on the right as you enter. Restrooms are available here.
IMPORTANT: There is a separate set of parking areas on the west side of Hansen Dam Recreation Center at the Dronfield Ave. entrance off Osborne St. Those areas include the Ranger Station and the Aquatic Center. We are NOT meeting there, so please follow the driving directions above.
Hansen Dam is served by Metro Bus Line 90.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WALK
We’ll cover about a mile on easy and mostly level dirt paths, stopping frequently to look and listen for birds. Target species include a variety of warblers, flycatchers, and other spring passage migrants as well as breeding birds of the extensive riparian woodlands and adjacent scrub, including the endangered (Least) Bell’s Vireo as well as Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, etc. Waterfowl, herons and other waterbirds will be around the lake, and swifts and swallows should be overhead. A typical spring bird walk in this area should yield 60 or more bird species.