I Spy with my Bird’s Eye

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG)  |  By Susan Maxwell Skinner
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Naturalist David Rose and Bird and Breakfast supporters watched nesting California wood ducks and hummingbirds at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Avian species provided a plumed pageant for the Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s recent Bird and Breakfast fundraisers.

During two events, more than 100 nature-lovers viewed many nesting critters. A red-tailed hawk hauled twigs to a eucalyptus nest; a hummingbird patiently incubated her clatch; woodpeckers checked acorn pantries. Forty or more feathered species inhabited the Nature Center’s 100-acre preserve.

Audubon Society-guided forays were favored by weather – even after a wet start on the final Saturday. “Kids love to splash in puddles and see foot tracks left on paths by animal passersby,” said a nature Center volunteer. “Nature’s guestbook isn’t so visible on dry trails.”

The events have been a sell-out hit at the center for 32 years. On spring mornings, house-hunting wood ducks provide harlequin interludes. Close to the American River, killdeer moms are belly-down on flood-plain nests.

Nesting above a walking trail last weekend, a hummingbird nursery was a rarer – usually invisible – treat. “We saw the hen incubating on her tiny nest,” explained the volunteer. “She seemed used to people walking nearby  and wasn’t fazed by tourists. It’s amazing to view something so seldom discovered. Audubon people combed  the area in previous weeks and observed nests being built. Such secrets of nature are what our Bird and Breakfast event offers every year.”

Event sponsors included: Fred and Betsy Weiland; Wild Birds Unlimited (Roseville). 

Learn about Effie Yeaw Nature Center events at www.sacnaturecenter.netH