December 11, 2008
Julius Hugh Comby discovered the Belted Kingfisher nesting at on the San Gabriel River at Whittier Narrows because he was a biologist, naturalist and birdwatcher in Los Angeles County from the 1930s to the 1960s. His home was near the nesting site on San Jose Creek, a tributary to the San Gabriel River. He had recently lived in Pico Rivera and Whittier and was familiar this stretch of the river. Julius wrote a brief report of the status of the nesting Kingisher for the professional birding periodical, Condor, of the Cooper Ornithological Club. He was a member of this Club for about 5 years, having joined in 1939, and his article on the kingfisher appeared in a 1944 issue of the Condor. He wrote several articles in the ensuing years about birds in the Whittier Narrows region.
Sadly, the kingfisher does not nest here due to loss of habitat but it could be restored with proper wildlife techniques. In essence, Julius and Erna were joined together by their mutual interest in birds, wildlife and nature.