East Park Reservoir is located at the ecotone between the Northern Coast Range and the Central Valley, about 60 miles northwest of Sacramento. A mid-sized reservoir surrounded by Blue Oak savannah and chaparral, its woodland and riparian habitats have been the site of migrant and resident songbird research since 1997 (Point Reyes Bird Observatory). Though significant wetlands have developed here, dramatic water fluctuations tend to leave them either dry or flooded, and thus unattractive to nesting birds.

Ornithological Summary

This site is notable for having three large breeding colonies of Tricolored Blackbird (recent highs of 10,000 birds), and for the avian monitoring program begun in the late 1990s. The riparian habitat is locally significant in that it has retained elements of the lowland riparian avifauna of the northern Central Valley (e.g. Yellow-breasted Chat nests in small numbers). The site is well-used by Neotropical migrants, but probably not with any greater frequency than other sites in the Northern Coast Ranges (e.g. upper Cache Creek).

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Conservation Issues

For the past six years, the staff has worked hard to minimize the effects of grazing in riparian and wetlands areas. They have also proposed a boardwalk through the wetland areas, specifically for viewing Tricolored Blackbirds.

Habitat

A mid-sized reservoir surrounded by Blue Oak savannah and chaparral, its woodland and riparian habitats have been the site of migrant and resident songbird research since 1997 (Point Reyes Bird Observatory). Though significant wetlands have developed here, dramatic water fluctuations tend to leave them either dry or flooded, and thus unattractive to nesting birds.

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