Help Scientists Observe Raptors Around Batiquitos Lagoon

Calling all birders and community scientists! We need your help observing nesting raptors in and around the Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve. This is a great opportunity to observe wildlife while helping scientists with important research and conservation work 

The Nat and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are gathering information on birds of prey that are nesting in the area this spring (their nesting season is typically midwinter through the middle of summer). We are specifically interested in the Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, and American Kestrel.  

Between now and the end of July, we need the community’s help to document each nest in the Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve and the surrounding neighborhoods that are within a mile of the lagoon (roughly bordered by Poinsettia Lane to the north, Leucadia Blvd. to the south, and the Omni La Costa golf course to the east).  

Nat scientists regularly monitor nests in and around the lagoon. But we need help from the public because many of these birds nest in backyards or on private property that we can’t access. And with more people getting outside into nature during the pandemic, it’s an opportunity for people to learn about and contribute to science.  

The data we gather will help inform conservation efforts at the Reserve. By comparing observations this year against observations last year, we can determine how nest success and the nesting density of raptors has changed, and what nests are being reused in 2021. In addition, we can continue to document when and where raptors are nesting, what trees they use for nestingand what prey they bring to feed their young. 

If you live in this area and know of any nests or nesting raptors in your back yard or neighborhood, please email or post your observations to the iNaturalist app using the Birds of Prey at Batiquitos Lagoon Project. New to iNaturalist? Find more information hereincluding a downloadable guide on how to use the app 

Visit the San Diego County Bird Atlas’ online database to learn more about these birds, what they look like, and their nesting behaviors.  


Great Horned Owl with young. Photo by Tony Mercieca.

Nat scientists are seeking help from the public to monitor nests around the Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve.

Red-shouldered Hawk. Photo by Tony Mercieca.

Posted by The Nat on February 26, 2021

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