Wintering at Bonelli

Staff photo by Raul Roa

To a Midwestern bird, our cooler weather is his summer. Our cottage by the lake with a fireplace is his Palm Springs. The winter visitors are showing their plumage at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. According to Pat and Rod Higbie, visitors include: yellow-rumped warbler, osprey, Say’s phoebe, golden-crowned sparrow and Lincoln’s sparrow. There are also migrant birds such as the gray flycatcher. And there are year-rounders, like the statuesque snowy egret seen captured in a still moment Tuesday by our photographer, Raul Roa. There are even barn owls living along the East Shore Fishing Area, say the Higbies.
What do the Higbies know about wintering birds? It takes one to know one.
See, the Higbies moved to SoCal and live in Bonelli Park. Yup, there is a trailer park within the grounds. They winter here but travel other parts of the country during other times. Hence the term “snowbirds.”
Their list of different bird species seen at Bonelli Park during the last five years has reached 220.
If you’re starting your own list, you’re invited to go on the monthly Bonelli Park Bird Walk on Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Meet the Higbies at the west entrance and park near the office.
Don’t tell him but my friend and long-time birder Milt Blatt of Covina wants you to ask him: When is the painted redstart going to show up? To Milt, the Midwestern bird with the scarlet breast, is the epitome of a western visitor.
Don’t worry about them finding their way.
Said Blatt: “The amazing thing for me is these birds can fly 1,000 miles and come back to the same tree.”
If you can’t make the walk, check out the Higbie’s bird video in the Bonelli Park office.

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About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

638 thoughts on “Wintering at Bonelli

  1. The Masonic Home of Covina is proposing to cut down 250 Mature Trees to build several 4 story buildings in their place. Attend the City Council Meeting October 2, 7:30pm and voice your opinion. Help save these birds.