Mallards floating on placid ponds, egrets standing at attention at the water's edge and blue herons soaring across the sky all signal autumn in the Sepulveda Basin.
The 2,100-acre preserve is home to about 150 species of birds, said Rosemarie White, head of the San Fernando Valley Canada Geese Project, a wildlife group that every fall counts the number of migratory geese in the Valley.
In addition to the Canada geese, mallards, egrets and herons, White said, bird-watchers have spotted burrowing owls, a bald eagle and several other rare migratory birds within the green space.
A 108-acre wildlife area in the southeast corner of the preserve, in particular, attracts hundreds of birds that graze in its grassy fields, White said. The area is currently being doubled in size as part of a $6.7-million expansion project.