Ballona Photography | Blog

Welcome to the Ballona Chronicles, dedicated to sharing observations, photos, issues, & discoveries about the evolving relationships between urban wildlife and urban dwellers. I welcome you to share your comments, experiences, discoveries, and projects. 

Let's reweave the vitality of life together,

Bev-Sue Powers 

Rewilding the Ballona Watershed

April 22, 2018  •  1 Comment
by Bev-Sue Powers Last weekend, I went on a four-stop bus tour that concluded a weekend workshop designed to imagine the most opportune ways to re-wild the entire Ballona Watershed. One of the stops was at Esperanza Elementary, a grade school in the middle of the Ballona Watershed. My first impression was, "These poor kids! When did schoolyards be...
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2018 Declared Year of the Bird!

February 18, 2018  •  1 Comment
Coinciding with the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act's ratification, more than 100 national and international organizations have joined forces to declare 2018 the Year of the Bird. As such, I want to encourage you to take walks in the Ballona Wetlands to see our winter wildlife neighbors before they depart for their breeding grounds (mos...
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Fall Returns to the Ballona Freshwater Marsh

October 29, 2017  •  5 Comments
Our migrating neighbors have started returning to the Ballona Wetlands area for the winter. Each year the ducks, seabirds, long-legged waders, sparrows, and many others start arriving in August, with most coming September though late November. Many of these birds fly over a thousand miles, 300-400 miles a day, over the course of one to three months...
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Fall Returns to the Del Rey Lagoon

October 03, 2017  •  2 Comments
Our migrating neighbors have started returning to the Del Rey Lagoon and Ballona Wetlands area at large. Each year the ducks, seabirds, sandpipers, and others start arriving in August, with most coming September though late November. A full house resides here December through March. The Del Rey Lagoon is an anchor destination for several species wh...
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A Bicycle Built for Three

September 17, 2017  •  3 Comments
A few weeks ago, a friend a was watering her patio plants and was startled to discovered a pair of mourning doves had built a nest in her bicycle's basket! Being able to witness wild birds so close is a thrill. Observing how they overcome environmental challenges is a wonder. Why did that Mourning Dove choose the bicycle basket as a perfect choice...
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Dancing Egrets & Other Random Acts of Wildlife

August 08, 2017  •  4 Comments
These pics make me smile. I hope they make you smile, too! Please enjoy these random acts of Ballona wildlife. Happy Summer Everyone! Happy Fish Dinner Dance Happy Fish Dinner Tango. Note the second Egret’s beak; It’s making its move under the first Egret’s outstretched wing. Meet the Mergansers. This Merganser couple wintered in the Ballon...
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Meet the Heermanns

July 23, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
Because of their very distinct, eye-catching coloring, Heermann's Gulls are one of my favorite Gulls. Curious to know more about them, I learned that the Herrmann's are one of the few birds wintering in Ballona Wetlands to head south to breed, rather than north. Their breeding destination is Isla Rasa, an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Mexico ab...
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Coots Make Me Smile

July 04, 2017  •  1 Comment
American Coots always make me smile. At a glance, they’re rather plain looking. But these very social ducks have their own beauty. They have more of a croak than a quack and a lot of personality! Their feet look like scalloped slippers to me, designed for support in soft, deep muddy conditions. And mud-running they expertly do! They love to be fed...
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Mammals In Our Midst

June 03, 2017  •  1 Comment
Conservationist E. O. Wilson coined the term biophilia as "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. In the past 100-150 years, during the buildup of cities, very little consideration was given to accommodating natural habitats and ecosystems. Even most parks were designed for beautification and human recreation, not wildlife. The result was...
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The Ballona Creek Buffet

April 26, 2017  •  1 Comment
By Bev-Sue Powers, ( Nature Services - earth’s biological & geochemical systems - are the Earth’s working parts that enable our ability to exist. Human-caused disruptions & destruction to Nature’s Services, especially in the last century, are causing an extreme, rapid decline in Nature’s ability to keep these systems run...
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Preying in the Wetlands

April 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
I’m always thrilled when I come across birds who eat, prey, & live in the Ballona Wetlands. The soaring silhouettes of their outstretched wings always stop me in my tracks. They seem aware of, but not interested in me. Their steady gaze and deliberately efficient movements reinforce their focus is to prey, but thankfully not on me! As with many bir...
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Humming in the Ballona Wetlands

March 04, 2017  •  1 Comment
Always delighted to spot a Hummingbird, I became even more interested after reading Terry Masear’s book Fastest Thing on Wings. In it, she describes how she and a small band of folks steadfastly rescue hurt and orphaned hummingbirds in the greater Los Angeles area, which intensifies during breeding season. Her organization and their dedication and...
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Celebrating the Tiny Ones

December 30, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
By Bev-Sue Powers Did you know there are at least 20 types of warblers, 17 types of sparrows, 15 types of Flycatchers, and 7 types of swallows who call the Ballona Wetlands home at least part of the year? Here is a mere sampling of some of the tiny neighbors you might or might not have noticed around the Ballona Wetlands. The first flycatchers I...
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I See Stars!!

December 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
By Bev-Sue Powers In the fall of 2013 until the third week in January, 2014, I marveled at and photographed the starfish colonies living on the south jetty at the mouth of the Ballona Creek. During the second week of January, 2014, I witnessed three women scraping at least 1-1/2 dozen starfish off the jetty, laying them upside-down along the top o...
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A Docent-ing View . . .

December 05, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
By Bev-Sue Powers Each September, the local Audubon provides six weekly, three-hour training sessions for people who want to be a volunteer docent for the upcoming year. All they ask in return is to be a docent at least twice a month. In October, I completed the training and the first week of December, I completed my first two docent-ing sessions,...
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