PHOTO: A total of 62 people follow docent Lois Richter alongside Putah Creek at the UC Davis Arboretum, looking for birds.
By Tobias Kim and Leah Rosenheim,
Sixty people gathered at the UC Davis Arboretum on Jan. 26 for a free, two-hour bird walk with volunteer docent Lois Richter.
After providing binoculars to many unprepared participants, Richter led the way from the parking lot to the entrance of the arboretum. The arboretum is a series of botanical gardens along the banks of Putah Creek, with 22,000 trees and plants adapted to a Mediterranean climate.
Richter pointed out all the birds in sight, describing their characteristics, coloration, calls, habitat and behavior. Some of the birds spotted include crows, scrub jays, hummingbirds, mallard ducks and perhaps most common, the warbler.
“The guide was very informative and very knowledgeable,” Joann Ellero said.
For Ellero, the highlight of the tour was a bush with about 20 hummingbirds. The hummingbirds, with fluorescent, magenta necks, chased one another around, displaying their territorial behavior. “They’re vicious,” Ellero said.
Richter has led activities involving birds and plants around the arboretum for over 20 years. For Richter, “sharing knowledge” is the most rewarding part of being a docent.
The arboretum has several more free, guided wildlife tours and activities, including an elderberry flute-making workshop and a tour of the yellow acacia grove in full bloom. Information on these tours can be found on their website.