Walk the Discovery Trail that surrounds Terranea and learn about all the indigenous plants and wildlife through naturalist-guided tours or our interpretive signage. A sampling of plants includes dune buckwheat (host plant to the endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly), California bush sunflower, lemonadeberry, and coastal prickly pear. This varied mix of perennials, cacti and hardy shrubs provides a visual feast of color and texture for trailgoers, as well as a welcome refuge for local wildlife.
The El Segundo Blue Butterfly, seen in the area in June, July and early August, depends on the dune buckwheat to survive. The establishment of new populations of this species increases its chance of recovery and eventual removal from the endangered species list.
Guests may also be attracted by the faint "wew" of the California Gnatcatcher hunting small insects in the coastal sage scrub. These active, gray, four-inch songbirds have long black tails that help distinguish them from the other similar species. The adult males are recognized by their trim black caps.
Guests can also scope for birds offshore or at the cliffs. Hooded Orioles nest in the California Fan Palms at nearby Point Vicente Lighthouse. Guests may hear the "churr" of a Cactus Wren on the steep hillsides above the beach or along the road. There is also an excellent show of different species offshore including the majestic California Brown Pelican and Black-vented Shearwaters.