Yolo Basin Foundation docents will lead a public tour of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area on Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to noon.
As spring approaches, the numbers of wintering birds like the tundra swan and greater white-fronted goose start to decline as they begin their migration north. This time of year also marks the return of many species including, yellow-headed blackbirds, cliff and barn swallows and Swainson’s hawks.
As migratory birds make their annual flights up and down the Pacific Flyway, many species stay in the area year-round. White-tailed kites, great blue herons and double-crested cormorants are just a few of the birds that can be seen throughout the year in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.
An expert diver whose diet consists almost entirely of fish, the double-crested cormorant is well adapted to its aquatic lifestyle. A long, hooked bill, powerful webbed feet, and a long, sleek build allows it to pursue and catch prey underwater.
Adults are brown-black with a small patch of orange-yellow skin on their face. They have aquamarine-colored eyes and the inside of their mouth is bright blue. A cormorant will often dry off by standing in an open area or on a perch with its wings out. The wispy double-crest is seen on the heads of adults during breeding season.
Members of the public are invited to see these and other species on the monthly public tour. Participants should meet a few minutes before 9 a.m. in Parking Lot A of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, at the west end of the Yolo Causeway. Directions are available on Yolo Basin Foundation’s website, www.yolobasin.org.
Participants should bring binoculars, water (there is no potable water on site) 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.
For more information, call Michael Herrera at 530-757-1018 or visit www.yolobasin.org.