Tuesday, September 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Birds galore can be spotted at wetlands tour

Mallards DunnW

The mallard is the ancestor of nearly all breeds of domestic ducks. Jim Dunn/Courtesy photo

By
From page A12 | September 24, 2013 |

The city of Davis and Yolo Basin Foundation invite community members to join docents at the Davis wetlands on Saturday, Oct. 5, for a free guided tour from 3 to 5 p.m. Tours are offered the first Saturday of the month all year-round.

The Pacific Flyway stretches from Alaska to Central and South America. It is the collection of routes taken by birds on their annual migration to and from their breeding grounds. The city of Davis wetlands provides a favorable habitat to many of the more than 350 migratory bird species that help define the Pacific Flyway.

Shorebirds such as American avocets, black-necked stilts and long-billed curlews have already returned to the area. Some will stay through winter, whereas others will continue southward. Early arriving ducks include mallards, pintails and northern shovelers. Other species of waterfowl will arrive in the area over the next few months.

The mallard, which can be found in every state including Hawaii, is the most common duck in Northern America. They are large and broad with a round head and a wide, flat bill. Drakes have an iridescent-green head, bright yellow bill, brown breast and a gray body. Juveniles and females have mottled brown plumage with a brown and orange bill. The mallard is the ancestor of nearly all breeds domestic ducks.

All those wishing to join the tour should meet a few minutes before 3 p.m. at the gate in front of the Davis wastewater treatment plant, east of the Yolo County Landfill on County Road 28H. Participants should bring their own binoculars, water (there is no potable water on site), and field guide. Docents will have spotting scopes to enhance wildlife viewing.

Most of the tour is by car on firm gravel roads, with a couple of optional short walks in the wetlands. A portable toilet is available on the route.

To reach the plant, head north from Davis on Pole Line Road, turn right on Road 28H and go 3 miles east, just past County Road 105. The group meets at the front gate.

This is a free tour; no reservations are required. For more information, call Michael Herrera at 530-758-1018 before the day of the tour, or visit the Yolo Basin Foundation website at www.yolobasin.org.

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