By Waterbird Intern Graham Pimm
Double-crested Cormorant nests and 15 Great Egret nests only five minutes away from downtown Pleasanton? I know I was surprised when I first learned about them. But there is! And they’ve been here since the 1970s! Even more importantly - thanks to the efforts of citizen scientists like Bill Rose and Dolores Bengston - SFBBO has been collecting data on this colony for decades as a part of our Colonial Waterbird Program.
The data has the potential to serve as a litmus-test for these birds’ ecosystems and teach us how different environmental pressures may be affecting these species. Simultaneously, they can provide a valuable outreach platform to show the public just how interesting and amazing these birds really are.
For instance, just this past May, over 30 people from around the Bay Area converged at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park to join SFBBO, the East Bay Parks District, and our wonderful volunteers for our “Birds in Your Neighborhood” event.
For three hours we showcased the colony (and it’s cute Great Blue Heron chicks) for participants and answered questions about the history of the colony, the species present, and their behavior and habitat. Not only was it an opportunity for the public to learn more about colonial waterbirds and for SFBBO to extend our message, it was also an enlightening experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Knowing that there are many people just like our volunteers and staff who genuinely care about the success of these birds is extremely uplifting and helps to confirm that SFBBO’s mission (to conserve birds and their habitat through science and outreach) resonates with many members of the Bay Area. Your can read more about Bill Rose and the Shadow Cliffs Colonial Waterbird Colony in the Pleasanton Weekly.
You can reach Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn about our Colonial Waterbird Program, volunteering, or outreach events on our website.
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