Bird Season on Anacapa Island (Photos/Video) | KCET
Bird Season on Anacapa Island (Photos/Video)
There are three seasons on Anacapa Island, and the month June is something those with ornithophobia should dread. For the rest of us, though, to walk its trails is like being transported into a scene from inside the pages of National Geographic.
For being just 1.1 square miles big, Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park yields an impressive statistic: it is the largest Western Gull rookery in the Western United States. When you observe a seagull on the Santa Monica Pier or elsewhere in California, there's a good chance its first flight was launched here.
Relatively quiet for much of the year, save for the lighthouse's warning sound and some sea lion barking below the cliffs, Anacapa's aural landscape takes a sharp contrast each spring when thousands of squawking Western Gulls descend upon the island to mate.
They generally do not lay eggs on trails, but passerby beware, the birds are watching you. Take a stroll and you'll witness first hand the aggressive display parents take toward protecting their eggs and hatched young. It's not dangerous--you won't be wearing a meat dress, right?--but the swooping sounds right above your head will make it feel so. (Tip: wear a hat, it will make you feel safer, and will protect you from a much grosser method of intimidation.)
To experience this is wild (a short point-of-view video is below among the photos), and if you're inclined for the adventure yourself (and hey, the views are beautiful, too), nesting season only lasts for a finite period of time. Mating and the laying of eggs occurred earlier this spring and now the chicks are hatching. They'll fledge over the next month, at the latest, and then leave for the mainland.
To go, national park vendor Island Packers offers day trips weekly, Wednesday through Sunday, launching from Oxnard. The roundtrip ride will cost adults $56, children 13 and younger $39 and seniors 55 and up $51 (prices differ for campers).
Not into that kind of bird density? Anacapa is always home to other (and more chill) bird populations year-round (California brown pelicans, cormorants and now bald eagles!), but it has what I consider two other seasons. The off-season, after the Western Gulls have left, lasts mid-summer through the end of winter. The greenery begins to fade and the Giant Coreopsis plants go bare, resembling mini-Joshua Trees. When spring hits, the plants bloom brilliant yellow wildflowers for a short-lived season before the squawking begins again.
This is what it looks like when you walk down most of the trails on the island | Video by Zach Behrens/KCET
After the screening, KCET Cinema Series host Pete Hammond conversed with director Fernando Ferreira Meirelles (City of Gold), and writer Anthony McCarten.
All around the United States is a 100-mile border zone where one can be searched and one's things seized. Policies way beyond what the constitution allows is regularly implemented. Artists drew on select sites. Here's what they realized.
Created by policymakers in the 1940s, the border zone extends 100 miles inland from the nation’s land and sea boundaries and houses nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population. It's also where the 4th amendment rights of the people have been subverted.
We have forgotten how to be medicine to the land, and to ourselves. The members of Syuxtun Collective are revisiting lost indigenous wisdom of learning and listening, of harvesting and preparing plant medicine in participation with nature.