Harbor Park Habitats

Here is a collection of pictures showing the various habitats of Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park. Eventually, we'll have discussions about the habitats too.

Note the above pictures were taken from the same place. This is ecological succession. The siltation has helped the tules close in a huge open water area. The pond in the early 1990's had nesting Pied-billed Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Coot, Night-Herons, and other species, none of which nest there now. There are several such sites around the park. Streambed Alteration permits are required from CA Fish & Game, to remove the silt, and tules, to reopen the water. Edge habitats (where tules meet water or forest meets meadow) are infinitely more productive than e.g., solid tules or open water is on their own. This site is at the west edge of the open area between the scout camp and the college ball field.

Excerpt from "The Birds of Ken Malloy Regional Park"

KMHRP has the last and largest remaining natural freshwater lake with surrounding tule marsh and willow riparian forest within over a thousand square miles of Los Angeles.

Permanent fresh water is a rare resource in the area. The open waters of the lake support many waterbirds year-round. The tule marsh has rare nesters like Tricolored Blackbird and Least Bittern.

The willow riparian forest is in the "flood zone" and supports many species, including Orioles, Warblers and Hawks.

It is critically important habitat for migrant and wintering neotropical songbirds. Outside the wet riparian areas is a belt of mulefat in the adjacent drier areas - a transition zone between riparian and upland habitats.

Some remnants of coastal sage scrub can be found on the south side of the park, as well as open fields mixed with brushy areas. Many birds will be seen over the park or lake; aerial species such as swallows and hawks are skyward. The habitat in most dire need of immediate restoration is mudflat and the reformation of islets, historically present, gone now.

The "dam" created a wet hole and a dry hole. Now with constant (unleashed) dog and people pressures, the birds lack a safe haven where they can rest or nest undisturbed. On the December, 1994 Christmas Bird Count, 117 species were seen in five hours by five guys! Diversity of habitats is the reason. Each year thousands of migrants stop and refuel here.

It is the most important place to the most birds of any L.A. City or County site; and the only example left of this type of ecosystem on the coast of the LA Basin from Santa Monica well into Orange County.