Tuesday, February 21, 2006

L.A. County breeding bird atlas available in 2007

The first breeding bird atlas for Los Angeles County covers more than 4,080 square miles... which is part of why the effort began in 1995 and is just now nearing publication.

The project involved 200 volunteers canvassing 410 10-square-mile blocks between 1995 and 2000. They found 230 breeding species amid the landscape's freeways, parks, neighborhoods, woodlands, mountains and beaches.

The atlas's two authors, Kimball Garrett and Larry Allen, have worked on compiling the information before and after their day jobs. Their efforts will reveal data that might surprise some birders, including the ranking of Mourning Dove among the breeding species.

The aim of the atlas is to put a spotlight on the county's avian diversity and provide a baseline of information for future researchers.

"Twenty years from now," Garrett said, "people will be able to use this atlas to determine how things have changed."

Mourning Dove courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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