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How well do you know the birds of the Arboretum Waterway?

Great egret

Did you know that more than 135 species of birds have been observed nesting or roosting in the Arboretum? Here are five commonly found in the UC Davis Arboretum.

1) Great egret (Ardea alba): A tall white bird with an impressive wingspan of about 6 feet. They hunt fish and frogs by waiting for their prey to pass before quickly striking using their long necks. They typically nest high in trees to steer clear of predators, such as raccoons.

Great egret
Great egret

2) Wood duck (Aix sponsa): The adult male has distinctive multicolored iridescent plumage and red eyes, with a distinctive white flare down the neck. Wood ducks feed on aquatic plants and their seeds as well as insects and crustaceans.

Wood duck
Wood duck (male)

3) Wood duck (Aix sponsa): Adult females are less colorful, have a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. They usually nest in the cavities of trees close to the water. Unlike most other ducks, the wood duck has sharp claws for perching in trees.

Wood duck
Wood duck (female)

4) Double Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus): Their webbed feet provide them with powerful propulsion for diving and chasing fish. Cormorants are often seen standing in the sun with their wings spread, drying their feathers after fishing.

double crested cormorant
Double Crested Cormorant

5) White-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys): These birds can be found foraging for seeds while hopping and running on the ground. White-crowned sparrows can stay awake for up to two weeks during migration.

White-crowned sparrow
White-crowned sparrow

 

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