Join farmers, avian ecologists, researchers and conservationists virtually for a discussion on practices that support beneficial birds and manage pest birds.
When: Friday, February 19th 11 am - 1:30 pm (Pacific Time)
Cost: FREE (but you must register to attend)
Field Day Speakers and Agenda Include:
11 am – 11:15 am Welcome and Overview
11:15 am - 1:10 pm Presentations
- Dennis Tamura, co-owner, discusses Blue Heron Farm's overall operation and how his nest boxes support avian pest control.
- Daniel Karp, PhD, UC Davis, covers how the presence of habitat beneficially affects birds' impacts in strawberries and other crops.
- Matthew Johnson, PhD, Humboldt State, describes Barn Owl prey, hunting behavior, habitat influences, and the best types and locations of nest boxes.
- 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.
- Melanie Truan, PhD, UC Davis, describes nest box plans, installation, monitoring techniques, and reproductive outcomes, with examples from the Putah Creek Nestbox Highway and Davis Nestbox Network.
1:10 pm -1:30 pm Q&A and Networking
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 32 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 virtual field day is brought to you by generous support from the following:
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.