Our conservation chair, Michael Perrone, writes the monthly Conservation Corner column for the YAS newsletter, the Burrowing Owl. Current local concerns include the ability of the agriculture community to continue to provide vital bird habitat; the status of the Tricolored Blackbird; and the conservation significance of trends in abundance of local birds, as shown by the annual Putah Creek Christmas Bird Count.
Nearly all of the world’s tricolored blackbirds nest in the Central Valley and nearby foothills. Yolo County has been home to several breeding colonies in recent years, totaling twenty thousand or so adults, and often with large numbers in winter as well. Thus, Yolo Audubon has an unusually direct stake in the welfare of the […]
From 1912 to 1923, Joseph Grinnell and fellow ornithologists at UC Berkeley surveyed birdlife in spring and summer at forty-one stations in the Central Valley, producing a baseline list of the breeding birds of the region. One hundred years later, another UC Berkeley group revisited the same stations at the same seasons. A member of […]
Placement of nest boxes for small songbirds along the Putah Creek corridor has had a history of success. Birds fledge young from them in large numbers, year after year (see this column, February 2017). A recent string of boxes in the heart of Davis has been likewise well received by birds (this column, September 2019). […]
The complex of wildfires in late summer that burned large swathes of Yolo, Solano, Napa and other counties devoured oak woodland, forest and chaparral indiscriminately. Wanting a sense of the effects of those fires on the birds of the area, Steve Hampton and I pored over reports from birders around the burned zones, both during and […]
Text by Joe Zinkl, Phenology Survey Coordinator Yolo Audubon members have been conducting a phenology survey at Audubon California’s Bobcat Ranch for over four years. The study is conducted in cooperation with the National Phenology Network. All data collected by our surveyors is sent to NPN. What is phenology exactly? It is the study of […]
The Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area (along County Road 126, off River Road just north of the city of West Sacramento) is an excellent birding spot, with 197 species reported on eBird. This large bird list reflects the presence a strip of forest at the foot of the north levee of the bypass, plus wetlands that […]
In most Yolo County landscapes, birds are usually hidden from view, while fly-overs are often too distant to be identified by eye. And some birds fly by night. In all those instances, birding by ear is essential for knowing who they are, and thus essential for better understanding of the bird life of our county. […]
In the field of endangered species management, the term Safe Harbor refers to agreements with the US Fish and Wildlife Service by which a landowner voluntarily improves or expands habitat for a species and, sometime later, can decide to return the property to its original condition without penalty. The aim is to encourage otherwise hesitant […]
Late last year National Audubon published Survival by Degrees–389 Bird Species on the Brink, an analysis of the likely effects of climate change on the abundance of North American bird species in the next several decades. The study modeled three levels of temperature increase, corresponding to levels of effort to reduce the discharge of greenhouse […]
A lot has been happening at Audubon California’s Bobcat Ranch recently.
Nina Tortosa, Restoration Intern at the ranch, compiled a comprehensive report of ranch restoration work that she was involved in from September 2019 through March 2020. One of many projects involved repair of part a birding trail used by the Yolo Audubon phenology group. You can read her full report below.
In addition, quite a few nesting boxes have been refurbished for some lucky new owners. (Photo above.)2020-05-05-Tortosa-Bobcat-Restoration-Report
Which local program has finished nearly three hundred habitat improvement projects, mostly on farms, as part of formal high school course work? The answer is SLEWS (Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship), which teaches the next generation of farmers and natural resource stewards to restore habitat, while learning science hands-on. SLEWS is a program […]
Our February article described the huge losses that cats inflict on wild birds in California and around the country. Recognizing this as an important conservation problem, YAS explored the issue further. We talked to key people at the County animal shelter in Woodland, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Yolo County SPCA, and […]