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Monday, July 1

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #8: Santa Monica Pier and Bluffs Flock, by Day and by Night.


The world-famous Santa Monica Pier Lighted Display Arch, in Santa Monica, CA, USA.
Santa Monica is definitely one of the Los Angeles region's most popular tourist destinations, with many attractions within the city; the Santa Monica Pier, being the most prominent landmark in town, with the sun's setting happening over the Pacific Ocean, each evening, off over the horizon, or beyond Malibu and Topanga Canyon. It's nature's majesty at some of its best, on the west coast. 

Taking a closer, more localized look around the area, we are witnessing a novel animal amusement park beginning to develop, in recent years. The locals might have typically been considered to have been wondering what to do about this huge flock of hundreds of pigeons, nearby the pier? The topic had even made the news, back in 2022, when a man took up the call to action, at a time when the fear of birds, due to the pandemic, had further pushed pigeons, amongst the public, out on a lonely boat, at sea, so to speak. 

Unforeseen, a rich and bustling wildlife scene has become established, with huge numbers of squirrel families now populating the bluffs, and the pigeons show up for a piece of the action, as well. 

Hordes of squirrel families have propogated themselves on the Santa Monica Freeway / Pacific Coast Highway bluffs, neighboring the Santa Monica Pier. The bluffs feature exciting natural ecology for both squirrels, as well as pigeons, to thrive, amongst the tourists and local wildlife lovers, alike.

The pigeons and squirrels make for a lively and dynamic daily foray, amongst the panoramic views of local beach-side ecology and the ocean horizon.

The pigeons and squirrels of the Santa Monica State Beach Bluffs work out who's eating what, out of what I throw out, for the birds. 

An Iranian pigeon checks out a squirrel who'd bossed his way in to getting some of the food, while the other critters and a fellow pigeon look on.
These day time photos were from a recent Day 1: of a weekend, 2-day excursion,in which I'd ended up at the beach, to do recycling. This pigeons and squirrels dynamic is really a new thing, over the past year or two, or so - there definitely had not been so many squirrels. There's really a lot of them, but there's so many tourists, and they seem to all get by, just fine, as is, and I'm sure that the city's Animal Control staff can figure out what to do, if there were a problem about overpopulation, or something. 

The next time I came down to Santa Monica (earlier, last night), I arrived around evening / just past sundown, for my Day 2 excursion. This time, I spotted another pigeon presence novelty - the underneath-the-pier night shift pigeons. A nighttime flock of pigeons who are active, still, is quite rare, here in the Greater Los Angeles area, so - making Santa Monica a stop, in your day, whether it be night time, or sun out, seeing the pigeons out, doing their thing, can fit in to most any tourist schedule.

As I walked along the beach, passing underneath the pier, some of the local pigeons flew down from the rafters, and they decided to check me out, to see if I had any food for them.

Some pigeons from the pier flock, at nighttime, mingling as they discover a prospect for a meal.

I had some bread, so I gave them what I had, and the birds were happy. 
The next time you're out in Santa Monica, perhaps you'll encounter these pigeons, along your path, on and around the beach and bluffs.

A pigeon pursues a potential companion, or young one, as pigeons will do.

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