NESTING BEHAVIOR OF BIRDS STUDIED OVER TWO YEARS DURING MAJOR LEVEE IMPROVEMENT CONSTRUCTION.
Brook M. Constantz; GEI Consultants Inc.; 2868 Propspect Park Dr #400, Ranch Cordova, CA, 95670; (650) 868-4809; bconstantz@geiconsultants.com; Hannah Dunn
From 2017-2018, the West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (WSAFCA) improved a 9,200-meter (7-mile) levee section along the west side of the Sacramento river in West Sacramento, California. During the project duration, biologists from GEI Consultants monitored nest behavior and success for all species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Monitoring was conducted inside and up to 400 meters (1,312 feet) from the construction limits during the nesting bird season, and monitoring was expanded to the waterside of the levee during the 2018 construction season. GEI biologists monitored the behavior of nesting birds throughout and adjacent to the construction limits, collecting over 1,000 nest monitoring logs and documenting over 100 active nests in an area of 240 hectares (600 acres). This study focuses nesting preferences, behavior, and success for a variety of the nesting birds observed during construction monitoring, including Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsonii), bushtits (Psaltriparus minimus), and northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos). In particular, nesting preferences for waterside passerine (Passeriformes) species (n = 12), for which nests were documented (n = 54), were analyzed and compared for tree density and nest clustering. Further, results of nesting behavior (i.e., timing of courtship, nest building, incubation, and fledging) and success of several key species are reported from the two years of data collection and analysis.
Wildlife Professionals: Consultant Case Studies