On September 6, 2007, I personally saw 11 Sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) on the Kismat tract in the Conservancy’s Central Basin Reserve Area. This is the first time these birds, some having wing spans of 80 inches, have been seen on Conservancy preserves. While the birds are not one of the HCP’s “covered species,” they are nonetheless striking in their beauty and sheer size, and at least in recent history, are unusual in the Natomas Basin. The group was wading in water control structure “K” on the preserve, and white faced ibis (an HCP covered species) were in the same area. Truly a breathtaking scene.
The Conservancy has redoubled efforts to use mitigation lands for prey production purposes. A big component of that is an effort to enhance small rodent populations at strategic locations. These small rodents are favored prey of raptors, and the Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsonii) is frequently seen foraging on them. The… Continue Reading Prey production