As a coastal community, Ventura has an abundance of seabirds. The most common birds are California Brown Pelicans, ducks, various breeds of seagulls, grebes, and cormorants. If you spend any time at the beach, though, you may also notice some smaller birds near the shore.
Sanderlings tend to be the smallest shore bird, are usually found in groups, and generally run back and forth on the beach as the tide ebbs and flows looking for small prey. You might be entertained by their antics and the “peeps” they make as they skitter back and forth across the sand. Black Bellied Plovers are a bit larger, a little darker in color, and have a slightly shorter, thicker bill. In breeding season they have a striking black belly. The Marbled Godwit is larger still and has a very long bill, suitable for finding food in the wet sand near the waterline. If you are fascinated by the abundance of waterfowl on our coast, Foster Library can help you identify the different species with a number of books about birds.
-Resident Photographer Aleta Rodriguez