Fall is here, and the bird season is changing too. We have a wide variety of field trips for you in the upcoming weeks. A new one is Alison Kent’s Introduction to Nature Journaling on October 12th. Try your hand at sketching—Alison is a great teacher.
I’m on the board of directors of Audubon CA, and from time to time I’d like to tell you about state news that may be of interest. First is the passage of the Audubon-sponsored AB454, the CA Bird Migratory Protection Act, which was signed into law on September 27th. This act will continue to offer protections to migratory birds in the face of federal rollbacks of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Audubon CA public policy staff worked tirelessly on the bill–kudos to them!
Bobcat Ranch is an Audubon CA property and one of Yolo Audubon’s favorite places. A recent generous grant from the state Wildlife Conservation Board has allowed them to hire new staff to focus on becoming certified under National Audubon Society’s Conservation Ranching Program. Bobcat Ranch is the first cattle ranch in California to work toward this certification. To be successful the ranch must meet stringent standards regarding habitat management, sustainability, forage and feeding and animal welfare. The goal is to manage cattle to help restore and enhance grasslands for birds and other wildlife while also aiming for climate benefits from healthy soils. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting new program.
Finally, Yolo and Sacramento Audubon Societies recently had a productive meeting with Joe Hobbs, Manager of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. There was a good discussion about the summer flooding of fallowed rice fields for shorebirds in July and August, including what worked and what didn’t. Joe promised he would try to incorporate the Audubon suggestions into the protocol next summer.
Good fall birding!
— Ann Brice, President