The photo here shows onions that have matured on Conservancy property. Normally onions don’t provide the best of habitat for the NBHCP’s Covered Species. However, this onion crop is planted on a field normally used to grow alfalfa. Alfalfa is the premier crop grown for the benefit of Swanson’s hawk, one of the NBHCP’s “primary” Covered Species. Alfalfa is best grown for five-year run (sometimes more, sometimes less) then is replaced. And alfalfa is best not planted to follow alfalfa. So, for that purpose, but also for crop diversity purposes, and for soil regeneration, growing onions on this site is a good alternative. And, in a way, after the onions are harvested, you can expect field mice will be working on the residue. When that happens, it is near certain that Swanson’s hawks to be making a meal out of them. Even if the taste a bit like onions!
Conservancy field personnel captured this close-up of an osprey (Pandion haliaetus) flying overhead from a nearby perch. The photo was taken on Conservancy mitigation land associated with a managed marsh complex. In prior years, some called this species the “fish hawk.” Clearly, the claws would be useful in catching fish.… Continue Reading Nail trim needed?