Lake has no outlet. Natural salts are washed into the lake,
but they are left behind when water evaporates.
1. What makes Mono Lake so special?
2. The California gull is what type of migrant?
3. Why is Mono Lake important to wildlife in both North
and South America?
What makes Mono Lake so special?
It is so salty that fish cannot survive here. But, algae,
brine shrimp and a brine fly larve thrive. This creates a
bird paradise with an abundant food supply without competition
from fish. Almost 300 species of birds have been sighted here,
and the lake is very important to migrating birds. Most interestingly,
85% of the state's California Gulls come here to nest.
The California gull is what type of migrant?
The California gulls belong to a group of birds classified
as short distance migrants. These birds arrive in late winter
to breed, nest, and fledge their young and then head to the
southwestern US or northern Mexico for the winter. These short
distance migrants are the largest number of bird species to
be found here and include robins, finches, sparrows, pelicans,
plovers, grebes, and sandpipers.
3. Why is Mono Lake important to wildlife in both North and South
Mono Lake is on the Pacific Flyway, the name for a broad north-south
bird migration path, the Eastern Sierras is also visited by
numerous bird species categorized as long distance migrants.
These birds will migrate from as far north as Alaska in the
Summer to as far south as South America in the Winter. These
include many colorful species such as tangers, orioles, grosbeaks,
warblers, flycatchers, phalaropes, and swallows.