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Gearing Up for Fall Migration: Part 2

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

Huntington Beach Wetlands, a great resting stop for migratory birds to eat, sleep, and relax. Photo by OC Coastkeeper | OC Weekly

To continue our discussion on migration, migration hotspots are important locations for our migratory birds. They are where a large number of migratory species layover due to its abundant resources or its convenient placement along the coast for rest (such as peninsulas, estuaries, and islands). Orange County, which is right in the middle of the PF, acts as a layover for many birds in locations as small as backyards and as large as our local wetlands. As long as there is food, water, shelter, and low predation they will stop. The best places to view the large variety of species coming and going throughout the year are the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, as well as Huntington Central Park in Huntington Beach. These are all public places with great opportunities to view the species stopping over or staying for the season.

Hooded Orioles can sometimes be found hanging upside down while foraging for food. Photo by Jerry Ting | AllAboutBirds

Next in our migratory bird spotlight series is the Hooded Oriole, Icterus cucullatus. Our Hooded Orioles spend its breeding season along the entire coast of California and even more predominantly in Southern California. Most of them migrate toward Mexico for the winter but they can also be found in Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. Its beautiful coloring makes it a stand-out among birds with its bright yellow or orange cap and black throat but it does tend to stay hidden while foraging. Its big giveaway is its distinctive chatter often gives it away even while hidden. Hooded Orioles like a good bird feeder or ripe fruit.

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