The city of Davis and the Yolo Basin Foundation invite community members to join docents at the city of Davis wetlands on Saturday, May 3, for a free guided tour from 9 to 11 a.m. Tours are offered year-round on the first Saturday of the month.
The warmer weather brings a new group of seasonal visitors to the area. Some of the more common of these include Swainson’s hawks, Western kingbirds and cliff and barn swallows.
A bold bird with gentle colors, the Western kingbird is a member of the tyrant flycatchers, one of the largest families of birds. The Western kingbird is an aerial hunter, swooping out from its perch to grab prey midflight and then returning to the perch to wait for the next insect that flies by.
It is a bit smaller than an American robin, has a soft-gray head and breast, yellow belly and a dark tail that has white outer edges. Both the male and female kingbird will aggressively defend their territory from other kingbirds and predators.
All those wishing to join the tour should meet a few minutes before 9 a.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.
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.