What's so great about it? This 225-acre reserve, only a few miles from shopping malls and busy freeway interchanges, is home to a menagerie of glorious birds, such as egrets, cormorants, hawks and dozens of song birds. No need to drive miles up a winding mountain road to snap photos of wonderful feathered creatures. Once in the reserve, follow the smooth dirt paths to Wildlife Lake, where you will see an amazing variety of birds. (OK, so this is not the beautiful Bosque Del Apache, but where else can you see so many birds so close to a smoggy, traffic-choked megalopolis?) Bring water, a camera and binoculars.
A note to visitors: Volunteers with the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society lead tours on the first Sunday of every month from 8am-11:30 am, year-round. There is also a Bird Walk on the second Saturday of winter months between October and March starting at 8:30 A.M. and ending around 11:00 A.M.
Address: 6350 Woodley Ave. Van Nuys, CA 91406
For more info go to the reserve website.
(Photo by the Los Angeles Times)