I stopped by Egret Office Hours this week. It’s only happening through the month of June. If you want to see over 90 egret nests, and hear the goofy, warbling sounds that the birds make, and see lots of the gorgeous Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Black-crowned Night Herons up close, you need to go!
Google and the city of Mountain View agreed to close the sycamore-lined street, Shorebird Way for 6 months out of the year. It’s not at all an inconvenience to the people that work in the area since everything is walkable and they’re used to it. In one of my photos, you can see how a few of them were covering their heads to prevent getting hit by poop, but everyone was really just laughing about it as they walked to lunch. There are lots of bikes and pedestrians on the street, just no vehicles.
Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society runs Egret Office Hours. They have plenty of knowledgeable, friendly docents, information about the birds, and scopes so you can get a closer look. The Audubon volunteers are on Shorebird Way every Wednesday, from 11:30 to 1:30, through June. Thank you docent, Julie and Executive Director, Matthew Dodder, for answering all my egret questions and showing me around. I really enjoyed it.
There were lots of people on their lunch hour, but also some entire families came out to see the birds. What a great activity to take the kids to, now that schools out. Strollers are welcome.
The birds return to Google every year to raise their babies. Breeding season is March through August. It’s so nice to get to stand around in the street to watch the action, and not have to worry about cars. Thank you Google and city of Mountain View for closing the street. And thank you Mother Nature for creating this amazing attraction right here in our community.
There are lots of native plants growing on the Google campus, and there were also so many different kinds of butterflies. Shani Kleinhaus of Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society told me that this area was the “butterfly capital” of the urban region. She’s right. It was magical. There are also hawk nests in the area.
A word of caution: Unless you want your car “whitewashed” don’t park too close. You might want to wear a hat. And I saw how someone reacts when their phone gets nailed by falling guano; they screamed and laughed at the same time.
It’s a free event, open to the public, and right in the middle of the Google Headquarters.
You should totally check it out. And look at Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society website for information on birding field trips, speaker series, classes, and volunteer opportunities.