Macarthur Park is going to the Birds

Whoever thought a major metropolitan city like Los Angeles couldn’t have so many different varieties of birds, definitely hasn’t visited Macarthur Park, which is located in the Westlake district.

Considering the recent history of Macarthur Park, it has come a long way; it used to be “crime central” in Los Angeles–drug-dealing, shoot-outs and the occasional rumored drowning, and as many as 30 murders in 1990. When the lake was drained during construction of the Red Line Metro tunnel, hundreds of handguns and other firearms were found to have been disposed of in the lake.

However, beginning in 2002, the Los Angeles Police Department, along with local business and community leaders led a revitalization effort that has led to the installation of surveillance cameras, the opening of a recreation center, increased business, a new Metro station, plus paddle boats and a fountain. Most recently, in 2005, the park was celebrated for having the highest reduction of crime statistics per resident in the United States. Source: Macarthur Park

I’ll be telling you more about Macarthur Park soon, but for today, I’m going to feature a few of our feathered friends that I discovered there. I wish I knew them by their names, but since I don’t, the pictures will have to suffice.

If there are any ornithologists in the audience, speak up or forever hold your peace; or if you do know the birds names, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll add them into the post.

Let’s Bird Watch:

That’s it for the birds for today, as this last guy—or girl—is seemingly both curious as to my reason for taking its picture but not offering him/her some food.

So as my visit to Macarthur Park this afternoon is fading into dusk, today’s Travelin’ Local’s foray into previously dangerous but now bird friendly ground, has made this day one more of delight and appreciation of nature right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles.

Tomorrow I’ll be featuring a testimony and treat about a world famous organ, its concert, and the church where the city was built around; it’s within walking distance from Macarthur Park as well.

Yesterday was a fun weekday Travelin’ Local. Not all events happen on the weekend, so are you trying to go somewhere nearby to celebrate your backyard and week?

[Update]  Much Thanks to Stacy from Create a Balance who provided the names of the birds.  From the top:

1.  A Brewers Blackbird

2.  The black bird in the background is an American Coot and the bird in the front is a Greylag Goose (note: this goose is not a native bird to North America)

3.  Barnyard Geese and potentially Western Gulls in the background.

4.  Perhaps a first year Glaucous-Winged Gull…but it could be a Glaucous-Wing Western hybrid.

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Springin’ into action on the Metro’s Orange Line Bicycle Path Welcome to the Free Pipe Organ Recital at the First Church in Los Angeles

12 comments so far

  1. Diane C.

    As soon as I saw the title of this post, I recalled the song, “Someone left the cake out in the rain.” My father took me to that park in the 1960’s to show me the place the song was named after. I remember watching ducks and geese. Glad to hear about the revitalization effort to reduce crime.

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Skywatch Friday - A storm brewing?

  2. João

    Hi Lisa.
    I´m from Portugal and this is my first visit to your beautiful blog. I like it.

    Mostly, i like your photos, and also the way you´ve arranged and placed things in the blog.
    I´m going to bookmark it, so that i can visit you again.

    My camera is also a Nikon D40 and i publish some of my pictures. Take a look ….

  3. LisaNewton

    @ Diane C. It’s really a great place. I’ll be doing a more detailed blog featuring some shots I took in the park next week.

    @ Joao Welcome to Travelin’ Local, and thank you for the “beautiful” part. It’s great to have a new member of the community who resides in Portugal…………..:)

  4. Will Campbell

    MacArthur Park is a treasure. Love that place. That area of the lake (with the island) nearest the statue of the general is actually there specifically for the birds.

    Should you venture back again and are in need of a meal: I recommend Langer’s Deli at 8th and Alvarado or Mama’s Tamales on 8th about a half-block west of Alvarado.

    As to the featured feathered friends, I an’t be much more specific about the birds other than: grackle, goose, goose, gull.

  5. LisaNewton

    @ Will Thanks, I’ll be sure to check those out. Oh, and I love the bird names…………….:)

  6. Stacey / Create a Balance

    Would you believe I am married to a professional ornithologist? There was no need to click on the dictionary link for me. Here are my husband’s identifications…

    First Photo: Most likely a Brewers Blackbird.
    Second Photo: The black bird in the background is an American Coot and the bird in the front is a Greylag Goose (note: this goose is not a native bird to North America).
    Third Photo: Barnyard Geese and potentially Western Gulls in the background.
    Fourth Photo: Perhaps a first year Glaucous-Winged Gull…but it could be a Glaucous-Wing Western hybrid.

    Happy Birding!

    Stacey / Create a Balance’s last blog post..Authentic Happiness Series - Part One

  7. David


    Beautiful photos. I also appreciated Macarthur’s statue along with its byline.



  8. LisaNewton

    @ Stacey I added your husband’s expert opinion to the blog post. Thanks……………….:)

    @ David Thank you!!

  9. Giovanna Garcia

    Hi Lisa

    MaCarthur Park sounds interesting, I like the background you shared about the place. The Greylag Goose is my favorite of all the birds here, it is beautiful. Thank you, I look forward to learn more about MaCarthur Park.
    Thank you,
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..Mistakes are Good!

  10. Lance

    Very nice pictures Lisa! Looks like a great place to visit now…

    Stacey!! You and your husband - rocked on this one!! It makes you like a walking dictionary!

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  11. Lisa's Chaos

    Dang, I thought that first bird was a Grackle. Oh well. I love the geese! :)
    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..Macro Monday Cars

  12. LisaNewton

    @ Giovanna Garcia I liked the geese, too. Plus, I could hear them before I saw them………………:)

    @ Lance Thanks, Lance.

    @ Lisa’s Chaos hehe, I’m glad I had an expert tell me what kind of birds they were.

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