The California least terns that had set up shop at the newly restored Malibu Lagoon for the first time in 73 years have returned to Venice Beach as of last Saturday. Broken eggs and footprints of predatory birds were found, according to the Audubon Society and The Malibu Times, which reported that crows had preyed on their nests.
Employees of the state park, however, remain optimistic.
"You need a critical mass of terns in order for the birds to defend against the crows," Suzanne Goode, a senior environmental scientist with California State Parks told KCET. The team is brainstorming ways on how to keep predators out but remain hopeful that the birds will return after the habitat has fully grown.
Other species that have popped up include the two-striped garter snake, the killdeer, crabs, and the striped mullet fish.
"All of these things were there before [urbanization took its toll on the environment] but they're utilizing the habitat now," Goode said. "Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting."