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Birders are invited to flock to Avila Beach on Saturday morning for a celebration of the town's designation as an official California bird sanctuary.

Bird Sanctuary Day gets underway at 10 a.m. at the Avila Beach Community Center, 191 San Miguel St., and will feature a history of bird sanctuaries and a regional birding overview, according to a spokeswoman.

Pacific Wildlife Care will have a live bird exhibit on display, as well as information about plastic waste and its alarming impact on bird life.

Special guest speaker Mona Olivas Tucker, tribal chairwoman of the Yak Tityu Tityu Northern Chumash in San Luis Obispo County, also will give a presentation, the spokeswoman said.

The free event is being held in conjunction with the county's Coastal Discovery and Stewardship Month and led by Avila Beach's bird sanctuary founder and avid birder Shirley Goetz.

Attendees will be encouraged to pick up an Avila Beach stewardship cleanup kit at the event and then take a walk on the beach or nearby Bob Jones City to Sea Trail for some "personal birding" and "some friendly bird sanctuary stewardship," the spokeswoman said.

Kits contain collection bags, gloves and checklists, which once completed can be returned for a free tote bag.

In Avila Beach, people can expect to see resident bird populations that include great blue herons, California gulls and snowy and common egrets.

Sightings of migratory birds may include brant geese, loons, grebes, surf scoters, common murres and Northern shovelers, the spokeswoman said.

For more information, visit www.avilabeachbirdsanctuary.net

 

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April Charlton covers South San Luis Obispo County for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter@WordsDawn

 

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