Sunday, March 6, 2022

Whittier Narrows Recreation Area - California

Whittier Narrows is a 1,492 acre park in the City of South El Monte near downtown Los Angeles, roughly bordered by Garvey Avenue and San Gabriel Blvd to the north and west and Durfee Avenue and Santa Anita/Merced Avenues to the south and east. In particular it has three lakes: (1) North Lake (22.9 acres with an average depth of 6.8 feet); (2) Center Lake (10.8 acres with an average depth of 11.8 feet); and (3) Legg Lake (the south lake, which is 42.9 acres with an average depth of 6.8 feet). I was astonished at how large the lake complex is and they are wonderful for birding. 

I had a short visit on February 5, 2022 and provide photos of some of the animals (mostly birds) that I saw:
Ruddy duck

Ruddy duck in breeding plumage, but it is sleeping so I couldn't get its baby-blue bill. 

Snowy egret

Song sparrows

Ring-billed gulls - the first two are immature and the third is an adult. 

Fox squirrel

Red-shouldered hawk.

Pied-billed grebe

Belted kingfisher

Canada goose

Lots of double-crested cormorants.

Common gallinule

California gull

American white pelican

I only spent about an hour in the park and it was late morning, not a great time for birds. I would love to go back early to take it all in under better circumstances. 


  1. Are kingfishers common in Southern California? I'm not sure I've seen one here, at least not recently.

  2. I'd not seen one until last year, but I've now seen multiples near the Salton Sea, at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach and Whittier Narrows.