Join noted research scientists, farmers, resource personnel and other experts in the field for an in-depth colloquium on insectivorous birds and raptors in the vineyard, native land, and agricultural interfaces including hedgerows and wildlife corridors.
When: Thursday, March 21, 2019, 8 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: $20 per person (includes lunch and a copy of WFA's Bird Booklet and a copy of Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ Birds in the Vineyard Best Practices)
Where: 1620 S Whitehall Ln, St. Helena, CA 94574
Register Below by Monday, March 18, 2019
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Field day agenda and speakers include:
8:00 am – Registration, with coffee and snacks
8:15 am - Elissa Olimpi, PhD, avian researcher, captures birds on-site for close viewing using mist-nets;
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
- Jo Ann Baumgartner, WFA, describes supporting beneficial birds and managing pest birds;
- Julie Jedlicka, PhD, Missouri Western State University, discusses her Western Bluebird research in vineyards;
- David Graves, Co-founder of Saintsbury, discusses wildlife corridors in agriculture;
- Sara Kross, PhD, Columbia University, shares her Barn Owl and Falcon research and how to co-exist with pest birds in vineyards;
- Lucas Patzek, PhD, Napa RCD, discusses their Re-Oaking program with respect to birds;
- Matt Johnson, PhD, Humboldt State University, discusses his lab's work on Barn Owl nest box occupancy and hunting behavior in and around vineyards;
- Sam Earnshaw, Hedgerows Unlimited, discusses and demonstrates how to install a native plant hedgerow;
- Julie Johnson, winemaker and owner of Tres Sabores, discusses reasons for the event and her overall operation.
12:30 pm – Lunch
** DPR and CCA Continuing Education Units received. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.
See Below for Registration Information and Ticket Purchase
About Tres Sabores Vineyard
With over 50 Western Bluebird nest boxes on her Napa Valley farm, Julie Johnson believes in replacing the niches in nature that are missing in agriculture. Tres Sabores sits on an alluvial fan of rich soils. Over half the property is still covered in Oak Woodlands, with most of the rest in vineyards, 200 olive trees and 150 pomegranate bushes. A hedgerow lines the driveway. The pomegranates and a wide variety of sages bloom ten months a year, providing nectar and insects for hummingbirds. But since woodlands with natural nesting cavities have been displaced by grapes throughout the region, Julie’s mission is to provide birds with real estate that’s in demand.
Not only do the bluebirds use these boxes, but also the insect-eating Tree and Violet-Green Swallows, which are sometimes in fierce competition for the limited re- sources. Other larger birds want to appropriate these boxes too, so to stop them from enlarging the entrance holes, Julie uses metal hole ring guards. This keeps nonnative European Starlings from moving in, and later in the season, lessens the chances of them eating her grapes.
Natural cavities and nest boxes also support two raptors with different feeding strategies. Barn Owl nest boxes help increase the numbers of these birds hunting at night. As Julie reflects on providing niches, she plans to install American Kestrel nest boxes so these aerial hunters can cruise over the fields during the day. Typical problem birds for vineyards—such as sparrows, finches, starlings, and grackles—are present here as well. With the kestrels in residence all year, they may help to reduce the pest bird populations.
Cavity nesters are not the only bird species Julie supports. Wanting as many beneficial birds as possible in the vineyards, she instructs her vineyard workers not to disturb songbirds’ woven nests. Julie’s vineyard was one of the sites where research was conducted on the pest control abilities of the Barn Owls. She would like that research and more on other birds to continue, fine-tuning the understanding of what the birds are eating and when.
This field day is brought to you by generous support from Newman's Own Foundation, Strong Foundation for Environmental Values, and Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation and the following project partners:
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.
1620 S Whitehall Ln
St. Helena, CA 94574
Google map and directions