Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

At the Pond: New year, new group, same love of nature

JeanJackmanW

By
From page A9 | January 26, 2014 |

It’s happening. We are forming the Friends of North Davis Ponds, which includes the Julie Partansky Pond and the smaller park pond.

The group is open to anyone who enjoys the ponds. The first meeting will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. We will meet at the smaller pond by the parking lot next to 3500 Anderson Road. Bring your ideas of what you would like to have happen. We’ll develop an email list to alert people to activities, a Facebook page with photos and more.

We have a good model to follow, the Friends of West Pond. And Gene Trapp and Jo Ellen Ryan, who have done so much at West Pond, have offered help, advice and ideas for North Ponds.

The first activity for Friends of North Davis Ponds will be a bird count from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. We are fortunate to have Ed Whisler, a consulting wildlife biologist who had a hand in developing the North Area Drainage Pond as a wildlife habitat, conduct a bird count with all willing participants, including beginning birders.

Meet at the smaller park pond parking lot next to 3500 Anderson Road. Bring binoculars if you have them. For more information, contact Whisler at [email protected].

For the Friends group, we are interested in more than birds. Whisler has compiled an annotated list of observations from 1989 to 2013 of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish of the North Davis ponds and surrounding neighborhood. Chris Dunford has a list of observations of birds from 1993. And I have a list of 105 birds that have been sighted at the ponds over the years.

If you miss the events, contact me at [email protected] to get on an email list to learn of future events.

The Feb. 15 bird count will be part of an international event — the Great Backyard Bird Count. We will have a chance to learn and practice identification skills and be citizen scientists. The GBBC became international last year; this year, it runs Feb. 14-17. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society leads the GBBC, with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada and sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited.

Everyone who reads this, even beginners, can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count on your own or with a group. You can spend 15 minutes or four hours, for one day or all four days. Do it anywhere — how about in your own back yard? Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period and enter these numbers on the GBBC website.

In 2013, participants reported birds on all seven continents and 111 countries and independent territories. Participants reported 4,004 species. Mexico reported the most species, 645. The United States reported 638 and India reported 544. The five most reported species were northern cardinal, dark-eyed junco, mourning dove, downy woodpecker and house finch. We have four of those species, but not the northern cardinal. California set a record with 352 species in four days.
The GBBC provides valuable information to scientists — a big picture, and a way to assess how weather and diseases are affecting bird populations in various regions. The longer that records are kept, the more we all learn.
There are several group count opportunities. Besides the North Ponds count from 8 to 10 a.m. on Feb. 15, the Friends of West Pond will hold a count from 3:30 to dusk on Saturday, Feb. 14, and from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Meet at the gazebo at the west end of Isle Royale Lane.
If you have trouble identifying birds, you are not alone. But there is a new app — Merlin Bird ID, a pocket birding coach, which does ID 285 of the most common North American birds. It asks you five simple questions: location, date, size, colors and bird action, and then guesses at your bird or gives you several to choose from. It has been spot-on every time I tried it.

Not only does the app identify the bird, you also can read more about the bird, listen to a couple of versions of its song and its call, and see a map of its range. It will be available in an Android version in the spring and you can visit the Merlin website and sign up for an availability alert. A web version also is being developed.

————

Let’s worry about water for us and for the birds, too. It’s easy enough to provide water for birds on your back yard or your apartment balcony or patio. You will get more bird visits and it’s fun to watch them bathe in it. You could use something as simple as a clay pot saucer.

Cherish our natural resources, protect them and kiss each day.
— Jean Jackman is a Davis resident. Her columns appear monthly. Questions, comments, corrections? Email [email protected]

Comments

comments

.

News

Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Child abduction case in jury’s hands

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

MU Games closing in late March

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Still no parole in toddler case

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

City offers wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Young patients bond with special stuffies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Radio talk show moves to Mondays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Assault awareness campaign kicks off

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Milt Priggee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Rowing: PE as well as life skills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Police complaint procedures drafted

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Clarifying energy update letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Weekly claw pickup necessary

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

City may get charged up over energy choices

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Design innovation centers for the 21st century

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

 
A new perspective on life

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8