Migration Celebration, a morning where conservation groups talk about the exotic birds and plants of the Ballona Wetlands, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 15th, at the Ballona Freshwater Marsh (southwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard) near Playa Vista.

Activities planned will focus on bird watching and identification, wetlands preservation, storm-water management and native plants. Participation is free.

The third annual event has been organized by a Migration Celebration Committee, made up of conservation groups including Friends of Ballona Wetlands, Audubon of California, Ballona Wetlands Conservancy and Ballona Wetlands Foundation.

The event will feature interactive stations with information on birdwatching, wetlands, water preservation and native plants. The stations, positioned along the public trail, will have binoculars and marsh docents on hand to help with identification. The stations will also have microscopes for people to view underwater animal life. There will be wild birds that are being cared for by the South Bay Wildlife Rehab. Several stations will include educational activities specifically for children, including planting native seeds and learning about native plants.

“Even very young children can learn to identify plant and bird species during their first visit,” says Marie Taylor, educational coordinator for the Friends of Ballona Wetlands Wonders of Wetlands (WOW) team.

The birdwatching aspect of the event gears in on the current spring migration period of bird species, including the red-tailed hawk, least tern, American coot, yellow-headed blackbird, red-winged blackbird, cinnamon teal, white-faced ibis, great blue heron, black-necked stilt and snowy egret.

The 26-acre freshwater marsh is a segment of the Ballona Wetlands freshwater system. The preserve creates an environment that is attractive to migratory wetlands birds and other wildlife. The marsh also acts as a flood plain that cleanses pollutants from stormwater runoff before it reaches Santa Monica Bay, according to Friends of Ballona Wetlands.

Information, (310) 745-5200.

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