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The Mono-logue » Blog Archive » Mono Lake island closure and Osprey closure in effect

Mono Lake island closure and Osprey closure in effect

May 25th, 2015 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
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An Osprey on its nest atop a tufa tower in Mono Lake. Photo by Erv Nichols.

An Osprey on its nest atop a tufa tower in Mono Lake. Photo by Erv Nichols.

As Mono Lake lovers know, Mono Lake is critical habitat for millions of birds. Many of these birds stop by on migration for the shrimp and fly soup buffet, but there are a few that have made Mono Lake their annual summer home getaway to nest and reproduce.

California Gulls are one of the most iconic seasonal residents. Gulls nest out on Mono Lake’s islands, laying eggs and raising chicks to fledging there during each summer. The “island closure” takes effect from April 1st to August 1st in order to protect the thousands of gulls and their chicks, so people must stay at least one mile away from all islands and islets during this important time. We offer a map at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore that shows the island closure perimeter so feel free to drop by and pick one up.

The black and white bird perched on the tufa tower is an Osprey. Photo by Sandra Noll. California Gull in flight, below, by scientific illustrator Logan Parsons.

The black and white bird perched on the tufa tower is an Osprey. Photo by Sandra Noll. California Gull in flight, below, by scientific illustrator Logan Parsons.

Perhaps the most unexpected of the seasonal Mono Lake residents is the Osprey, which began nesting on exposed tufa towers in the 1990s as a result of Mono Lake’s falling water level. While they are truly beautiful birds that are wonderful to observe, they are easily frightened away from their nests, which is why people must stay at least 200 yards away from all Osprey nests. One of the best and least-intrusive ways to observe Ospreyis on a canoe tour with the Mono Lake Committee.

We can all help to ensure that these iconic and beautiful birds continue to return to Mono Lake each year by giving them the space they need.

island-closure-mural--flying-gull

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