Blue Heron Field Day

Join noted research scientists, farmers, resource personnel and other experts in the field for a discussion on practices that support beneficial birds and manage pest birds. 

General Information

When: Tuesday, April 16th, 8 am - 1 pm

Cost: $20 per person (includes lunch and a copy of WFA's Bird Booklet)

Where: Blue Heron Farm, Watsonville, CA

Register Below by April 9, 2020


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Field Day Speakers and Agenda Include:

8 am – 8:15 am Registration with coffee, tea and snacks

8:00 am – 8:45 am – Viewing Birds Up-Close with Mist-Net Demonstration.

  • Elissa Olimpi, PhD, UC Davis, captures birds on-site for close viewing using mist nets, while discussing the insights gained from this technique for understanding avian pest control of insects in crops.

8:45 am - 1:00 pm Presentations and Lunch

  • Dennis Tamura, co-owner, discusses Blue Heron Farm's overall operation.
  • Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance, shares highlights from their publication, Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds.
  • Elissa Olimpi, PhD, UCD, covers how the presence of habitat beneficially affects birds' impacts in strawberries and other crops. 
  • Breanna Martinico, PhD Student, UC Davis, discusses Barn Owl and Kestrel prey, rodenticide impacts, habitat influences, and the best types and locations of nest boxes and perches (invited). 
  • Rachael Long, UCCE Farm Advisor, discusses how hedgerows and other habitat influence control of pest insects (invited). 
  • Jim Howard, NRCS-San Mateo County, shares insights into learning about and supporting birds on farms where he offers growers technical assistance.
  • Eric Brennan, PhD, USDA ARS, discusses how not all Sparrows are the same, and suggests ways that farmers might use cover crops to reduce Sparrow damage on cole crops while encouraging Sparrow feeding on weeds.  
  • Sam Earnshaw, Hedgerows Unlimited, discusses the functionality of native plant hedgerows and other conservation plantings. 
  • Shelly Connor, WFA, describes how up to $100K is available through the Healthy Soils Program for climate-friendly practices that can also support bird habitat. 

** DPR Continuing Education Units applied for. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.

See Below for Registration Information and Ticket Purchase

About Blue Heron Farm

Dennis Tamura and Lori Perry, and their crew from the Santa Cruz area and from the Jalisco and Michoacan regions of Mexico, raise 20 acres of organic vegetables and flowers on a farm surrounded by live oaks. 

With 30 nest boxes that support a multitude of Tree Swallows and Western Bluebirds, Blue Heron Farm is an oasis for birds, as the name implies. Every spring, pairs of these smaller birds begin scouting for their ideal box as they hunt pest insects in the air and on the ground. 

Once their nestlings hatch, they ramp up their insect consumption, helping to keep pest insect numbers down much more. After the Tree Swallows leave the farm in late summer, Dennis says he notices an increase in flea beetle scarring damage to cole crops and the spread of mosaic viruses by cucumber beetles. Bluebirds do their part too-much of their diet is composed of mosquitoes, stink bugs, and caterpillars. 

This field day is brought to you by generous support from Foundation for Sustainability and innovation, the Strong Foundation for Environmental Values, and the following:


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The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) provided partial or full funding for this project but does not necessarily agree with any opinion expressed, nor endorse any commercial product or trade name mentioned.


April 16, 2020 at 8:00am - 1pm
Blue Heron Farms
216 Merk Rd
Watsonville, CA 95076
United States
Google map and directions
Shelly Connor ·

Register Here

$20.00 Blue Heron Field Day Ticket
Choose number of tickets to purchase