Discover 150-plus birds that visit Irvine, right from your couch

Join 24-hour virtual bird watching through social media

by Tomoya Shimura

Bird lovers should tune into their computer or smartphone on Nov. 20 to catch a glimpse of more than 150 migratory birds that visit Irvine.

The Irvine Ranch Conservancy, tasked with overseeing open space in the Irvine Ranch, will host a 24-hour virtual bird watching experience through its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Posts will include a picture and description of one of the bird species that annually visit the vast open space such as Bommer Canyon, Limestone Canyon and Quail Hill. The Irvine Ranch is designated a federal natural landmark because of its biological and geological significance.

The social media takeover will begin 9 a.m. Nov. 20 and ends 9 a.m. Nov. 21. Followers will have a chance to participate in a giveaway.

They will also include links to programs on the landmarks where visitors get to see wildlife firsthand in their habitat.

“Fall and winter months are ideal for exploring the lands, and if you’re lucky you can spot a variety of migratory birds in person during a program,” said Irvine Ranch Conservancy Deputy Director Dave Raetz.

The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks see an increase in bird activity during the winter months because of seasonal migrations. The abundance of seeds, fruits and insects and shelter — thanks to winter rains — makes the area an attractive stop for birds flying south.

“The birds become more active as a result, so you’re more likely to see them when you’re out on the landmarks,” Raetz said. “However, you’re guaranteed to see these fascinating birds during our virtual takeover on social media, so be sure to check it out.”

Join the virtual takeover by “Liking” the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks Facebook page at Facebook.com/irlandmarks or follow @IRLandmarks on Twitter and @OCMountainstoSea on Instagram.

For more information, visit LetsGoOutside.org.