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Bird Rock Tide Pools

The tide pools at Bird Rock in San Diego are very easy to get too and have lots of diversity. There are two main large rocks that are the most interesting. Look at the sides of the rocks and visitors will see thousands of small depressions that hold chitons, limpets and sometimes smaller anemones. There are plenty of solitary sea anemones and a few big Owl limpets. The larger rock farther out has more to see but a bit more difficult to get to. Both the large rocks have lots of marine life to see attached to the sides.

Location and Tameness

The tide pools start at the base of the stairs and extend out about a hundred yards. Park anywhere along the streets. The stairs leading to the tide pools is located at the end of Bird Rock street. There are no restroom facilities. There are a few restaurants nearby.

Bird rock is a single large rock that forms a small island when the tide is high and is located at the end of Bird Rock Street in San Diego. This is a popular surf location when conditions are just right. The tide pool area can be accessed by the stair case at the end of the road. At the base of the stairs, there are large boulders that have lots of smaller limpets pretty high up. This will give an indication about how high the tide reaches as these animals tend to live in the mid to upper tide zone.

The flat area between the staircase and bird rock is covered by mats of coralline encrusting algae. This area also has sporadic sea anemones usually covered by tiny bits of shells to prevent them from drying out. Continue walking out to the large rock and notice the thousands of small depressions in the base of the rock. At the bottom of each depression, there is usually a chiton living at the bottom. These animals will sometime form these depressions using their radula when scraping for algae.

This area is also a great location to see the different animals that live in the different tide zone. Starting from the bottom, there is lots of algae covering the rocks. The next higher zone is covered with the depressions and chitons. Limpets will also live in this area. The next higher zone is where barnacles and small snails live. This location used to have a lot more diversity but has suffered from too much human impact.
Posted in Animals.

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