In 1917, famed naturalist Joseph Grinnell used these words to celebrate the birds of eastern California’s Owens Lake, pictured above: “Large flocks of shorebirds in flight over the water in the distance, wheeling about, show en masse, now silvery now dark, against the gray-blue of the water.” But by the 1920s, after water diversions and exports, the lake was dry and the birds were gone.
Happily, after more than a decade of work by government agencies and nonprofit groups, the lake is alive once again. Avocets, stilts, and Snowy Plovers nest, and many waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds stop over or winter in the area. Mike Prather, a leading advocate for the lake’s birds, describes it in our April 2017 issue. — Matt Mendenhall
Four birding hotspots
Reminder: Every hotspot description we’ve ever published in Hotspots Near You — all 254 of them — are available on our website. You can search for them by state or province.
Find the April 2017 issue of BirdWatching at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands beginning on February 28.
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