Very good news about the return of the songbirds along the Sacramento River.
Along the Sacramento, songbirds flourish again Scientists credit the restoration of thousands of acres of habitat with resurgence of wildlife population
Glen Martin, Chronicle Environment Writer
Monday, November 27, 2006
(11-27) 04:00 PST Phelan Island, Glenn County -- It may have been doing its part for science, but that didn't make the bushtit any happier.
It squawked in protest on a recent overcast day as ecologist Michael Rogner gently blew on its breast plumage, examined its skull and measured its wing feathers, judging its age and health.
"The bushtits can get pretty indignant," Rogner said as he carefully fixed bands to the small bird's legs and released it. "Most of the other species we catch take it in stride."
Rogner and fellow researchers with the group PRBO Conservation Science, which works to protect birds and their ecosystems, expect to examine more than 1,000 songbirds this winter along the Sacramento River corridor -- a remarkably high total. Songbirds have been in decline throughout the hemisphere, but the Sacramento River region is an exception. Scientists credit the restoration of thousands of acres of habitat and call the songbird comeback one of the nation's greatest conservation successes.