Yellow billed Magpie - found only in the Central Valley of Calif. Swainson's Hawk - Breeds in the Sacramento region Sandhill Crane - Winters in the Sacramento region Purple Martin - Breeds in Sacramento region
Additional information on each of the above can be found by scrolling down.
For information on local birding sites, click here.
Photo by Subhash Chand
Yellow billed Magpie
Endemic to the Central valley in California, but threatened by West Nile Virus.
ShareTheRoad Productions digitally captures Sandhill Cranes in their natural environment and brings the sights and sounds to you. Many of the photos on this site have been provided by Lon and Kat of ShareTheRoad Productions. Click here to visit their "Crane Connections" web page.
Large breeding colonies in the west. Found along Sacramento highway and railroad bridges.
2009 Sacramento Purple Martin Project: Purple Martins are making their way back to Sacramento, with first arrivals in mid-March.SAS encourages its members to consider volunteering or making a special donation to assist in efforts to protect and enhance this local species of special concern.
Sacramento’s Purple Martins are the last remnant of the Central Valley population.In 2008, the California Department of Fish and Game designated the Purple Martin a Species of Special Concern: “Following the arrival and increase of the European Starling, [Purple Martins] were extirpated in this region, except in the city of Sacramento, where they have persisted by nesting in hollow-box bridges.”CDFG further notes that recent declines in the City’s remnant populations (which have largely been spurred by redevelopment and maintenance projects that fail to adequately protect the species) “has raised renewed concerns for these urban colonies.”
The Sacramento Purple Martin core volunteers (Dan Airola, Dan Kopp, Stan Kostka, and Kevin Thomas) are gearing up to continue this year’s research and conservation efforts.Team leader Dan Airola explains, “Our efforts have become ever more urgent.The city’s nesting population has declined by 52% over the last 4 years to a mere 83 pairs.Stabilizing and increasing this remnant population is a high conservation priority, since it is the seed stock for any future recovery in the Valley.”
In February, the SAS Board of Directors allocated a $2,000 grant to assist the Purple Martin team’s efforts.But substantial volunteer and financial support is still needed.
In 2009, Dan and his team will census all nesting colonies in the city and continue their studies of reproduction and survival to better understand causes for their decline.They will also continue operating a nest box program in the Yolo Bypass that was initiated last year with SAS’ assistance; making nest site modifications to reduce nestling fallout; and commenting on proposed redevelopment and maintenance projects that fail to adequately protect the city’s remnant colonies.USFWS has provided partial funding to develop a statewide survey methodology, but other promised funding to actually conduct the survey has fallen through.Nevertheless, the Purple Martin team will initiate a pilot project in 2009 to test its methods and acquire initial results that may encourage agency support for more complete, statewide surveys in 2010.
Donations for the Purple Martins will be used to help ensure that all key aspects of the program continue in 2009.There are many volunteer opportunities available, as well, to help the Purple Martin team conduct monitoring, build nest boxes, develop a web site, etc.Please consider making a donation or volunteering to support SAS’ and the Purple Martin team’s important efforts to protect Sacramento’s very own species of special concern. Mail donations to: Sacramento Audubon Society, P.O. Box 160694, Sacramento, CA 95816. Write "Purple Martin Project" on your check. For further information, please contactDan Airola, 916-454-3073, firstname.lastname@example.org. SAS and Sacramento’s Purple Martins thank you!!
Central Valley Raptor Survey - This type of project is where some of your Sacramento Audubon membership dues are used, and you can see the exciting work being done by logging on to researcher Zach Smith’s website at www.centvalleyraptor.blogspot.com/. Our Central Valley, along with the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast, supports the highest diversity and abundance of wintering open-country raptors in North America.However, this habitat, already compromised by agriculture not compatible with raptor needs, is increasingly under pressure to be developed.This volunteer-run project aims to document the abundance, diversity and habitat association of wintering open-country raptors in the Central Valley.The survey consists of 19 driving routes through open habitat in the Central Valley, conducted by volunteers familiar with their local area of the valley.The results will provide baseline documentation for use in future development planning and habitat protection.