Tuesday, September 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Explorit: Nest boxes support local raptors

The kestrels have returned to Mace Race. Mike Wang-Belt/Courtesy photo

By
From page A6 | June 28, 2013 |

With a flash of ruddy brown in the sky, a sharp “klee” sound in the wind and possibly a stray feather on the ground, the kestrels have returned to Mace Ranch Park. They have resumed their residence in the oak tree near Korematsu Elementary.

Kestrel falcons are cavity nesters. Instead of building their own nests to raise a clutch of eggs, they take over an abandoned nest from some other animal or seek out a hollow spot in a tree, under the eaves of a roof or in a nest box specially hung to encourage the presence of kestrels and other raptors.

Raptors such as kestrels and barn owls, of which Davis is home to many, can be some very useful wildlife to have living in close proximity with human communities. Not only do raptors feast on rodents and other small animals that people generally consider pests, kestrels in particular can also help keep the summer insect population in check by munching on grasshoppers and beetles.

Kestrels have adapted well to living near people. They can frequently be seen hunting along roadways or sitting on phone wires. And due to their small size, they are not a threat to neighborhood pets.

But kestrels can only thrive in suitable habitats with open space for hunting and a selection of suitable cavities for nesting. Old growth trees like the oak in Mace Ranch Park typically have a good nest cavity or two high enough off the ground to be appealing to kestrels.

But a few well-tended nest boxes can go a long way to ensuring the kestrels return spring after spring. Nest boxes are easy to assemble and require very little maintenance. Basic instructions can be found at www.peregrinfund.org.

Boxes should be hung at least 10 feet off the ground. Cleaning out the box once a year in late winter is the only necessary maintenance.

Explorit’s summer science campers have enjoyed observing the Mace Ranch kestrels while learning about how people can support local wildlife. They’ve been able to study the remaining owl boxes in the park and discuss not only how such nest boxes foster raptor activity, but also how the boxes can be used by other species in other parts of the year for shelter as well as breeding.

Our campers are discovering their responsibilities to the animal world through observations and creative activities that simulate animal behavior and foster empathy for the other creatures that share our neighborhoods. You can share their enthusiasm by taking a stroll through Mace Ranch Park to visit the kestrels and consider supporting their return to Davis and our other local raptors with a nest box.

————

Explorit’s events:

Saturday, June 29, from 1 to 4 p.m.: Linda Merchant returns to Explorit to demonstrate realist painting with oils and pastels. She uses a layered process to achieve detail and precision in her work on wildlife, still life, portraiture and more. Free with paid admission to the museum.

— Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For more information call 530-756-0191 or visit http://www.explorit.org. You can also “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/explorit.fb or follow us on twitter at @ExploritScience.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Man on a mission: transform Davis

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Poppenga outlines ambitious agenda

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Cool Davis Festival is très chill

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sanity phase begins in Daniel Marsh trial

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    Council looks at granny-flat revision

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Find the perfect club or organization to join

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C2 | Gallery

    Brown allows new local development financing tools

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Standing In: Is the therapy for them, or me?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    California exhausts initial firefighting budget

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Forum examines Props. 1 and 2 on November ballot

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Assembly candidates will be at Woodland forum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    California approves landmark ‘yes means yes’ law

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    TSA bomb training may be noisy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Try out basic yoga on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    DCC welcomes students with free lunch

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Gibson House hosts plant sale and garden event

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Fraud Awareness Fair set Oct. 15 in West Sac

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UCD, University College Dublin will cooperate on food, health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Accessibility technology on exhibit at fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Covell Gardens breakfast benefits Komen Foundation

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Put your hoes down and celebrate the harvest

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Panelists discuss raising children with special needs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Number of wheels: How many bicycles do you have in your household?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C5 | Gallery

    DCC hosts fair-trade gift sale on Oct. 11

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Downtown history tour planned in October

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Emerson gives away old textbooks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Woodland PD seeks volunteers for ViP program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    DMTC makes musical theater accessible to everyone

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: C9 | Gallery

    Take home a wreath from Davis Flower Arrangers’ meeting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Snapshot: A night out with the neighbors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C10

    Davis school names reflect interesting history

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: C12

     
    Snapshot: Plenty of places to park it

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C14

    Snapshot: Dive into Davis fun

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C15

     
    Snapshot: Kick garbage to the curb

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C16

    Snapshot: Sounds like a party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C17

     
    .

    Forum

    It takes two to lambada

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    He seems happy at home

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Marsh case shows need for ‘Maupin’s Law’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    The great bedtime conspiracy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    They’re best-prepared to lead

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Vibrant and hard-working

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Archer has the right stuff

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Get on your bikes to meet Davis’ greenhouse gas goals

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    ‘Playoff game’ or missed chance? Either way the Aggies move on

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils move atop league standings with win

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Only 15 months out of UCD, Runas off to LPGA Tour

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Davis golfers get teaching moments in forfeit win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Two Junior Blue Devil squads emerge victorious

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    I-House film series continues with ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Art Farm’ exhibition will open in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Pleasant Valley Boys cool down Picnic in the Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino to play The Palms

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9

     
    Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Danelle Evelyn Watson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Michael Allen Hanks Baxter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7