The Egret Corner
May 2022 | Issue 23
Students visit the newly opened Area A of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve with nature guides from the Land Trust. The Land Trust advocated for this access for many years. Scroll down to learn more!
Photo: Courtney Lamb
Dear Ballona Wetlands Advocates,

Thanks for joining us in the Egret Corner. This month we recap the first student field trips to Area A, highlight an NOAA fisheries expert for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Month, feature a "jeweled" water bird for our bird of the month, and share some local news and upcoming events.

If you know of a class or group that would be interested in any of our educational opportunities, please feel free to contact or fill out this form.

Enjoy the rest of the newsletter. For previous issues, please visit our newsletter archive. If you have any questions or concerns email Lastly, your feedback would be greatly appreciated, by completing our newsletter survey.

Thank you for your ongoing support.


The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust Team
Diversity in the Field: Dereka Chargualaf
In this segment, we aim to support diversity by showcasing people currently underrepresented in environmental fields, working to improve the environment and/or people's access to natural spaces. We hope to provide representation for people who might not see themselves in these fields and inspire ways to be more inclusive.
May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of the Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community to America's history and future. This month we are excited to recognize Dereka Chargualaf, a fisheries biologist for the NOAA’s California Coastal Office.

Dereka grew up in Guam, which is the southernmost island of the Mariana Archipelago and the westernmost territory of the United States. In her interview, she covers her fisheries work, her influences, what AANHPI month means to her, and her cultural connections to fisheries management.

First Student Field Trip to Area A Are A Success!
Elementary school students from Culver City have been visiting Area A of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve over the past few weeks. This marks the first such student field trip in many years! Land Trust staff and volunteers met the students at the reserve and helped them to learn about past and present connections of indigenous people to this land. In addition, students learned ways to identify birds and other wildlife, including various native and non-native plants. The students expressed their appreciation for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which manages the ecological reserve by maintaining the gates and trails. More classes are planning to visit this area in the coming weeks.

The Land Trust and other groups spent years advocating for this access, and we are thrilled to be able to share our love and knowledge of this special place with students and adults alike. Learn more about Area A access and see more photos here.

For more information on how teachers and other group leaders can plan their own visits to this newly accessible area, please contact
Local News and Events
News/Event: Black birders are taking flight in L.A. Here’s how to join them
"Despite the joy that’s come from building up a Black birding community in real life, the online campaign that sparked the trend was born out of a painful moment. Soon after a white woman walking her dog called the police on Black birder Christian Cooper in New York City’s Central Park in May 2020 — a disturbing call that went viral in an online video — a cohort of activists developed Black Birders Week.

Black Birders Week, which this year runs May 29 through June 4, is a series of online events that increase the visibility of Black birders. After the first Black Birders Week, several Black nature enthusiasts developed even more campaigns around being Black in the outdoors and in the science community, like Black in National Parks Week and Black in Microbiology Week. In L.A., those online campaigns have led to IRL meetups, like the one Samuels attended on a cloudy Sunday in April."

News: Brown Pelican Health Alert
"Something is causing Brown Pelicans harm in California.

International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Wildlife Center is being inundated with many of these seabirds. 178 Brown Pelican patients have arrived into care since May 12th, with more pelicans expected this week. Many of them are injured and all of them are in need of Bird Rescue’s specialized rehabilitation skills."....

Bird of the Month: Double-crested Cormorant

Interesting Facts
"From a distance, Double-crested Cormorants are dark birds with snaky necks, but up-close they’re quite colorful—with orange-yellow skin on their face and throat, striking aquamarine eyes that sparkle like jewels, and a mouth that is bright blue on the inside." like this.
Habitat: fish supporting bodies of water

Diet: all fish, with just a few insects, crustaceans, or amphibians

Nesting: on the ground, on rocks or reefs with no vegetation, or atop trees, which may be alive when a cormorant colony first forms but typically die after a few years from the guano build-up
*Birds featured here have been seen at the Ballona Reserve or in the surrounding area.
Facts from
Photo: Jonathan Coffin
Why Birds Hit Windows—and How You Can Help Prevent It
Recently, a Yellow-rumped Warbler hit my window. Thankfully it recovered but I felt awful and never want that to happen again. I found the article below helpful in figuring out what to do next and steps to prevent future collisions.

The photo above is an example of window lines/art that can make your windows more visible to birds. I chose horizontal lines with a bar of soap, this was the easiest and quickest for me as a renter but more options are listed in the article. I hope this saves some birds and some human heartache.

Your Contributions Further Our Efforts!
Contributions collected are used to advance our efforts to advocate for the greater Ballona Wetlands ecosystem. Any contributions are greatly appreciated.
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The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust is a non-profit community organization
dedicated to advocating for the greater Ballona Wetlands ecosystem and to facilitating access to this ecosystem for education, stewardship, and public outreach.