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Community enjoys monthly bird watching treat

Neil Gilbert leads his group of birdwatchers on a two-hour walking tour of the loop at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont. He started as a guide for the botanical garden 20 years ago when he found his love for bird watching. Bird watching is available the first Sunday of every month with free admission. The garden is open daily and student admission is $6. / photo by Mitchell Aleman

Neil Gilbert leads his group of birdwatchers on a two-hour walking tour of the loop at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont. He started as a guide for the botanical garden 20 years ago when he found his love for bird watching. Bird watching is available the first Sunday of every month with free admission. The garden is open daily and student admission is $6. / photo by Mitchell Aleman

Monique Parra
Staff Writer

The Claremont community gathered early Sunday morning for their monthly bird walk at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Adults and students collected binoculars, provided by the garden, as they started off on their bird watching adventure.

The garden is home to over 147 species of birds. The tour caught a glimpse of about 26 birds from the western scrub jay to the California thrasher.

The tour guide for the student group, Neil Gilbert, is a Claremont resident and has been learning and giving tours about the different species of birds for 20 years.

“I began when I knew the birds and now I forgot them,” Gilbert said, jokingly.

Although Gilbert noted that many of the birds seen on the two hour tour were more likely to be seen on the ground, many were flying from tree to tree.

“I love seeing the variety of birds with their different colors here at the garden,” Tanner Cohan, freshman at John W. North High School said.

The Spotted Towhee bird was seen several times throughout the morning tour.

The garden opened in 1927 in Orange County, but moved to Claremont in 1951. Now, visitors come to enjoy the variety of plants and animals.

“I’m working on a school project, but didn’t realize how interesting it was going to be,” Brandon Spencer, Riverside resident said.

“The spotted towhee is my favorite bird, so I’m glad I was able to see one in person.”

Anna’s hummingbirds, California thrashers, California towhees, cliff swallows, Nuttall’s woodpeckers, tree swallows and bushtits are all known to nest in the garden and were seen by the group.

“I’m fascinated over the amount of birds seen today, since it’s a gloomy day,” Kayla Larsen, a senior at John W. North High School, said.

“We were able to see a hawk, when we went off exploring on our own.”

Not only did the students get to see different types of birds, but they were also able to see birds that are going instinct like the hawk.

The hawk seen was a female, who recently lost her mate.

Gilbert believes that an owl got a hold of the male hawk, after finding it further back in the garden.

Bird watching is the first Sunday of every month and is sponsored by the Pomona Valley Audubon Society. Admission is free and binoculars are given to those who do not own a pair.

The next event held at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will be in the Pavilion exploring butterflies this Sunday, May 12.

Admission is $2 and begins at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Guests are suggested to wear comfortable shoes, light colored and/or white clothing.

For more information about the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden visit www.rsabg.org.

Monique Parra can be reached at monique.parra@laverne.edu.

Related posts:

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  2. Botanical Gardens give a hoot at bird fest
  3. On The Calendar
  4. Friends, ferns and flora find home
  5. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens offer beauty and education

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