By Ashley MackinAlthough the harbor seal pupping season ended May 15, construction on the Children’s Pool lifeguard tower must remain on pause to accommodate another baby animal – a seagull chick born at the site that hasn’t yet learned to fly.
Per Department of Fish and Game code section 3503, “It is unlawful to take, possess, or needlessly destroy the nest or eggs of any bird …” and because the seagull chick has not yet flown for the first time, it is still considered nesting, said Monica Munoz, senior public information officer for San Diego Public Works Department.
“The chick has to fly away once, and only once, for construction to resume,” Munoz said. “Based on information from our biologists, the bird may leave the area in a couple of weeks (as of July 1). This estimate is based upon the length of time and ability of seagulls to fly once hatched, and also based upon what occurred last year at around the same time.”
At a June 23 La Jolla Parks & Beaches meeting, Justin Garver, a representative with District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner’s office, said a similar situation ensued in 2013, and the bird flew away on July 12.
“There is really no concreteness to that timeline, that was just what happened last year. So we expect (the bird to fly away) some time in mid-July, but we’re hoping for something sooner,” Garver said.
City crews have checked the site daily since June 2 to see if the chick has taken flight and will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis.
La Jolla Lightinvites readers who might happen to get a photo of the moment the little chick soars for the first time, to send it to: