Agriculture + Environment

It’s an early spring at the city wetlands

By March 22, 2011

Male snowy egrets like this one, sporting showy breeding plumage and bright yellow feet, may be seen now at the city of Davis wetlands northeast of town. Sam Steiner/Courtesy photo

Celebrate spring with a free guided morning tour through the city of Davis wetlands from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 2.

The seasonal shift from winter to spring is reflected in the bird species seen at the wetlands. As winter migrants leave, summer migratory birds are returning to nest and breed. Many species are starting courtship behavior, including red-winged blackbirds, red-tailed hawks and snowy egrets.

Male snowy egrets will call to attract  females and stretch with bills directed upward. Long, lacy feathers called aigrettes, are visible on the male’s back and the back of the head during the breeding season. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the use of these white, plume-like feathers to decorate women’s hats almost pushed the snowy egret to extinction.

All those wishing to join the tour should meet a few minutes before 9 a.m. at the gate in front of the city’s 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. Tours run rain or shine.

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

This is a free tour; no reservations are required. For more informationc call Heidi Satter at (530) 757-4828 or visit the Yolo Basin Foundation website at http://www.yolobasin.org.

The Yolo Basin Foundation works in cooperation with the city of Davis to offer the Davis wetlands tours. Yolo Basin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the appreciation and stewardship of wetlands and wildlife through education and innovative partnerships.


Enterprise staff

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