Bird walks at South Yuba River State Park | TheUnion.com

Bird walks at South Yuba River State Park

Submitted to The Union

A calendar of the 2018 Bird Walk at Bridgeport is now available in the visitor center or on the Park Association website. There will be a bird walk on the second Saturday of each month (excluding August and November when no walks are scheduled).

Participants should meet in the Bridgeport north parking lot at 7:30 a.m. for spring/summer walks and at 8 a.m. for walks in the fall and winter. Binoculars are a must; however, for those who do not have binoculars the docents usually have an extra pair.

All ranges of experience in bird watching from those who are observing birds for the first time to more experience watchers (birders or twichers in England and Australia) are welcomed on the walks. It's an old birder's adage that the more eyes watching the more species observed. Frequently, participants see 25 to 30 species on the walks.

Hopefully, this year will see a return of the nesting pair of bald eagles that have raised young in the Bridgeport area for a number of years. Compared to other raptors, bald eagles are early breeders: nest and egg laying occur in late winter and incubation/hatching in the spring. The young eagles fledge (have grown feathers necessary to fly) in late May or June.

Another notable bird species frequently seen in the park is the American Dipper. This was John Muir's favorite bird. He called it by it's old name "Water Ouzel." These plump sooty-gray birds are found by or in the river's rapids and are often seen diving into the fast-flowing river and then reappearing some distance downstream.

Dippers have evolved many specialized adaptations to suit their aquatic lifestyles. You can learn more about these most interesting birds and observe more birds, including various wood peckers, blue birds, kinglets, phoebes and the many spring migrants in the park (warblers, grosbeaks, swallows, etc.), by attending one of the walks

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For more information, contact South Yuba River State Park at 530-432-2546.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Expect to see American Dippers, Bald Eagles, various wood peckers, blue birds, kinglets, phoebes and the many spring migrants in the park (warblers, grosbeaks, swallows and more).

WHEN: All of the walks will start at 8 a.m. every third Saturday of the month. (Feb. 10, March 10, April 14).

WHERE: Meet at the South Yuba River State Park’s North Parking Lot. (Just past the South Yuba River-Pleasant Valley Road Bridge).

BRING: Wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring binoculars.

INFO: For more information, contact South Yuba River State Park at 530-432-2546.

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