News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
Upcoming Presentation: Raptor Rehabilitation,
with Live Raptors
On Thursday Nov. 3, Kim Franza, raptor rehabilitator with Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release in Grass Valley, will share stories of her many experiences with raptors. She will describe the physiology of raptors, the ways they become injured and sick, and the remedies available. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet live birds and inspect raptor carcasses. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). Admission is free but you must reserve a seat by contacting Kathy Fieberling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-345-1226.
Student Projects Begin for Fall Restoration Work
The work of WWW Restoration staff has kicked into high gear getting ready for fall, which is always a busy season for restoration projects in the sloughs. In honor of September 11th, 25 Monterey Bay Academy students spent a full day with the Watch, working to restore the protected open space areas around Pajaro Valley High School and removing invasive plants along the Last Mile of Watsonville Slough. Our job training program has also begun again, now that Pajaro Valley High is in session. We have a great group of 11 students who will be working in our nursery and restoring wetlands throughout the sloughs while earning minimum wage through a partnership program with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. We're excited to support them in gaining new skills and work experience for the benefit of the sloughs. More about our restoration programs.
Citizen Scientists Are
For the Birds
Local Bird Watchers Track Changes
in the Watsonville Wetlands
Local birding experts participated in the most recent bird count.
Last year the Watch launched a project to involve local bird watchers in long-term tracking of bird populations in the Watsonville Slough system.
Debbie Diersch, a volunteer with Watsonville Wetlands Watch, joined a group of birding experts on a recent bird count in a small area along Watsonville Slough. Debbie stated: "Within just a few hours we counted over 39 different species of birds. The most exciting bird for me was the Horned Lark - it was my first sighting ever of this bird."
Steve Gerow, one of the birding experts on the count stated that "The Watsonville Slough System provides extremely important habitat for a variety of birds, including wetland species, as well as land birds that use the adjacent riparian, grassland, and other habitats. This program of regular seasonal censuses will help clarify the current status of the various bird species throughout the year, and will provide important data to help track any changes in bird populations and usage of the habitats over time."
The original project kicked off last September with 10 local experts visiting 10 sites around the sloughs and wetlands. The 800-acre project area includes the Watsonville, Struve, West Struve, Harkins, Gallighan and Hanson Sloughs, adjacent marshlands, and the Pajaro River Estuary. The data collected by the citizen scientists is logged to an online database to help track diversity and growth of species. This long-term data is used by researchers and graduate students to identify trends and track progress of restoration efforts. The Watch has posted online a list of about 200 bird species known to frequent the wetlands. The list shows when various birds arrive by season and whether they breed within the sloughs. You do not need to be an expert birder to help with the count. Please watch for future opportunities in our newsletter.
You Can Support Our Restoration Programs
You can support our work to protect, restore, and foster appreciation of the wetlands. Contribute online by going to our website, www.watsonvillewetlandswatch.org; or send a donation in the mail to WWW, P.O. Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019. Contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules for non-profit organizations and are greatly appreciated.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch advocates for wetland issues, educates elementary, middle, and high school students, restores degraded habitats, preserves what remains whole, and teaches appreciation for the unique beauty and life of the Pajaro Valley wetlands. In cooperation with numerous other agencies, we support studies of and planning for these sites.