Bird Conservation

Black rails

Sierra Foothills Audubon Society made a significant gift toward a Black Rail research project that will promote the conservation of our newly discovered Sierra foothill population. The objectives of this research was to understand the factors that promote the success of this bird and to work with and engage private landowners in conservation on private land. The planned result of this project hopefully will lead to a protocol so that this population can be properly assessed in California Environmental Quality Analysis (CEQA). It is important to note that the sites occupied by Black Rails are undergoing habitat destruction, habitat alteration and climate change from global warming.


SFAS participates in a program that supplies and monitors bluebird boxes that have been places throughout the Nevada and Placer county. Their habitat of holes in snags has been seriously reduced over the years, so the boxes have been a way to restore this habitat.

Tri-colored Blackbirds

Sierra Foothills Audubon Society has recently financially supported a proposal to monitor tricolored blackbirds in the Central Valley. Major declines in tricolored blackbird abundance have resulted in the implementation of a few initial habitat management actions including mitigation, active refuge management, and fencing of traditional nesting sites. The need for active management is due both to the steep decline in abundance as well as the recent trend toward silage-dependent nesting.

Other efforts

We have also supported research on Swainson’s thrush, Flammulated owls, and Golden crown sparrows.

The following is a list of seriously declining or rare birds found in the Sierra (Source: National Audubon Society and American Bird Conservancy):

  • California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
  • Clark’s Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii
  • Costa’s Hummingbird Calypte costae
  • Hermit Warbler Dendroica occidentalis
  • Lawrence’s Goldfinch Carduelis lawrencei
  • Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
  • Mountain Quail Oreortyx pictus
  • Nuttall’s Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
  • Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi
  • Sage Sparrow Amphispiza belli
  • Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
  • Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni
  • Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius
  • White-headed Woodpecker Picoides albolarvatus
  • Williamson’s Sapsucker Sphyrapicus thyroideus
  • Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
  • Yellow-billed Magpie Pica nuttalli

To see the status of birds in this area that are either endangered or threatened based on the new State of the Birds report from National Audubon Society, click the button below.

Endangered or Threatened Birds