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.
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 […]
In November 2018 this column discussed ongoing and planned habitat improvements at the Open Space Park on Cache Creek, along County Road 85 just north of the town of Capay. Now I am happy to report on the success of the project, which has had help from YAS. The forty-acre park was recently part of […]
A recent study by the Smithsonian Institution and the US Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats kill about 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion small mammals each year in the lower forty-eight states. This is far higher—and probably more accurate–than previous figures, and likely exceeds all other sources of human-related losses of these […]
Bridgeway Island Pond is a birding hotspot in the Southport area of West Sacramento, famous for its excellent close-up views of an assortment of waterfowl, waterbirds and shorebirds. The pond and adjacent marsh often attract more Blue-winged Teal than any other place in northern California, and last spring it hosted a Garganey, the second one […]
The Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, owned and managed by UC Davis, is a well-known birding spot. The publicly accessible Yolo portion is on the north bank of the creek, mainly between County Road 98 (called Pedrick Road in Solano County) and Brooks Road. The Reserve was established in 1983. We have a good picture of […]
Projects to map the distribution of breeding bird species in a given area have covered numerous California counties. Called breeding bird atlases, they describe abundance, timing of breeding, and aspects of life histories. Trained citizen scientists do the field work. Their observations are synthesized into species accounts and maps, which reveal a great deal about […]
From a modest office near downtown Woodland, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and its local partner, the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, help farmers and ranchers with a range of business matters. More importantly for Yolo Audubon, they also help rural landowners create and improve habitat for birds. For example, in the ranching […]