Bird song abounds in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area now as many species announce their territories or attempt to attract mates. Members of the public are invited to hear the chorus on an early morning guided tour of the Wildlife Area, led by Yolo Basin Foundation docents, from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11.
The tour leaders will help visitors identify birds by sound as well as sight. The distinctive scolding of the tiny marsh wren is a common sound in the wetlands. The male red-winged blackbird — perched in cattails with his red coverts, shoulder feathers, raised for display — can be seen and heard claiming his territory. The harsh croak of the yellow-headed blackbird also may be heard, as can the melodious song of the Western meadowlark. Sometimes the birds may be hard to spot, but they are usually not hard to hear.
All interested participants will meet at 8 a.m. in Parking Lot A (the first parking lot) in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, at the west end of the Yolo Causeway bridge. No reservations are required. Participants should bring their own binoculars, water (there is no potable water on site), insect repellent and field guide. Docents will have spotting scopes to enhance wildlife viewing.
This is a driving tour on gravel roads with several stops and short walks. Further directions to reach the tour are available on the Yolo Basin Foundation website at www.yolobasin.org. Currently, there are no restroom facilities available at the Wildlife Area.
A $5 donation is suggested from all trip participants. Children under 12 and members of the Yolo Basin Foundation are free. For more information, call Michael Herrera at 530-758-1018 or visit the Yolo Basin Foundation website at www.yolobasin.org.
Yolo Basin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the appreciation and stewardship of wetlands and wildlife through education and innovative partnerships. The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.