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Birdwatching at Bette Davis Park in Glendale, California


Betty Davis Park

Nestled in the heart of Glendale, California near the Los Angeles “River”, lies a hidden gem for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Bette Davis Park, an idyllic haven teeming with avian wonders, offers an immersive experience in the world of birdwatching. With its diverse ecosystem and strategic location along the Pacific Flyway, this park provides a delightful opportunity to witness the magic of bird migration and observe a rich variety of species in their natural habitat. Other than odd odors, oodles of trash, and obtrusive homeless Bette Davis Park is still a great place to see numerous species of birds.


Los Angeles River

The Los Angeles River once was a natural river and was paved over in the 1930s and was completed in 1960. Although Los Angeles City officials claim the water is safe for recreation, it is highly discouraged. 1000's miles of sewers and smaller washes feed into the River bringing trash, and street run-off making the water a little undesirable for most people. But, it seems birds have continued to use the area for breeding and migration.


Los Angeles River
Go Lakers


A Sanctuary for Bird Species

Bette Davis Park encompasses over 20 acres of lush greenery, including woodlands, meadows, and a small portion of the Los Angeles "River" that nature is trying to take back. This diverse habitat attracts a wide range of bird species throughout the year, making it a perfect spot for birdwatching enthusiasts. The park serves as a sanctuary for both resident birds and migratory species, creating an ever-changing panorama of feathered visitors.



Migratory Marvels

Situated along the Pacific Flyway, Bette Davis Park becomes a vital pit stop for countless migratory birds as they travel between breeding grounds in the north and their wintering grounds in the south. During the spring and fall migrations, birdwatchers can witness an impressive array of species, including warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, and various waterfowl. Observing the remarkable journey of these migratory marvels is a truly awe-inspiring experience.



Avian Diversity

Bette Davis Park boasts an impressive diversity of bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts. The park's varied habitats attract an assortment of feathered residents such as Western Bluebirds, Black-crowned Night Herons, and Red-tailed Hawks. Visitors can also spot water-loving birds like Mallards, Great Blue Herons, and American Coots near the Los Angeles “River”. Patient observers may be rewarded with sightings of secretive species such as the California Thrasher or the Bullock's Oriole, adding an element of excitement to each visit.


Optimal Birdwatching Locations

The park offers several vantage points for optimal birdwatching experiences. The elevated observation decks provide a panoramic view of the park, allowing visitors to scan the treetops and open spaces for avian activity. The Los Angeles “River” is an excellent spot to observe waterfowl and wading birds up close.



Best Times for Birdwatching

To make the most of your birdwatching experience at Bette Davis Park, it's important to know the best times to visit. Mornings are generally the ideal time, as birds tend to be most active during the early hours of the day. Spring and fall migrations bring an influx of species, so planning a visit during these seasons increases your chances of encountering a wide range of birds. However, the park's resident species can be observed year-round, making it a captivating destination throughout the year. From late May to early July can also see predatory birds hunting along the wash for fledgling waterfowl.


Habitat Restoration Projects

To enhance the area's ecological health and create a more favorable environment for wildlife species, habitat restoration projects have been undertaken. These projects aim to restore native plant communities, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and enhance the overall biodiversity of the park and surrounding river. By removing invasive plant species and reintroducing native plants, these initiatives not only benefit the birds but also contribute to the overall ecological integrity of the park. The progress of said projects has been slow over the years, but the area became popular with homeless camps.


LA River Homeless

Bette Davis Park in Glendale, California, provides a captivating escape into the world of birds and nature. Its diverse habitats, strategic location along the Pacific Flyway, and impressive bird species make it a must-visit destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a curious beginner, visiting Bette Davis Park offers a memorable experience connecting you with the avian world's beauty and tranquility. So, grab your binoculars, pack your curiosity, and prepare to be enchanted by the captivating symphony of birds at Bette Davis Park


Side Note:

For my day job, I do Real Estate Photography and I had the opportunity to shoot Bette Davis Wilshire's apartment located in Los Angeles for a client. An added bonus was I also got to shoot Howard Hughes's apartment which was upstairs from Bette's.


The photographs contained in this website may not be reproduced without the express consent of Shutter Bison.


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