August 2019

family of burrowing owls

How you can help threatened waterbirds

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES LIVE IN THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY California rice fields have become increasingly important surrogate wetlands habitat for many wildlife species, including large numbers of migratory waterbirds, wading birds and shorebirds traversing the Pacific Flyway. Many special-status avian species, including some that are threatened, have adapted to cultivated ricelands for rest, feeding and […]

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buffle head ducks

California BirdReturns

BIRDRETURNS ENABLES GROWERS TO HELP BIRDS The BirdReturns program compensates rice growers who create waterfowl and shorebird habitats by keeping their harvested fields submerged longer than usual. Rice growers understand that their agricultural fields are ecologically important as habitat for native and migrating wildlife, particularly waterbirds. But agricultural production cycles don’t necessarily coincide with avian

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White egret taking flight

Rice fields teem with aquatic life for much of the year

Human activity often is in conflict with nature, but in some special places certain human endeavors harmonize exquisitely with the natural environment. Such is the case in the rice fields of California’s Sacramento Valley. Viewed from aircraft, the marshy rice fields radiate the glistening rays of the sun. At ground level, though, the lush land

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