Bird life on the Nature Reserve at Alameda Point

The Alameda City Council, on March 19, 2013, unanimously approved a resolution affirming support for a nature reserve at Alameda Point.  The resolution calls for a zoning designation of “Nature Reserve” for the runway area formerly proposed for a national wildlife refuge.

Alameda Point Proposed Zoning MapAfter an impasse was reached in negotiations between the Navy and the US Fish & Wildlife Service for creation of a national wildlife refuge in 2004, the property was offered to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The VA plans to build an outpatient clinic and columbarium on 112 acres of its land, but the remaining 511 acres of VA land will remain undeveloped.  The undeveloped area is where the endangered California Least Terns come to nest from early April to mid-August every year.  

The city’s nature reserve zoning designation will not have any mandatory impact on the VA, but rather is intended to convey the continuing value that the community places on wildlife conservation at Alameda Point.

March and April 2013 bird sightings on the Nature Reserve at Alameda Point.

Black-bellied Plover.  Summer breeding range is the north coast of Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.
Black-bellied Plover. Summer breeding range is the north coast of Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.  Seen here on the margins of seasonal wetland that the VA project will impact.
American Avocets on seasonal wetland that will be covered by VA clinic/columbarium project.  Can be replaced elsewhere on Nature Reserve.
American Avocets on seasonal wetland that will be covered by VA clinic/columbarium project. Can be replaced elsewhere on Nature Reserve.
Caspian Terns next to seasonal wetland that will be impacted by VA project.
Caspian Terns next to seasonal wetland that will be impacted by VA project.
Killdeer mating next to least tern nesting site.  Killdeer often nest inside the least tern area.  Killdeer are attracted to the Nature Reserve in abundance.
Killdeer mating next to least tern nesting site. Killdeer often nest inside the least tern area. Killdeer are attracted to the Nature Reserve in abundance.
Great Blue Heron nesting in a cypress tree in the Runway Wetland.
Great Blue Heron nesting in a cypress tree in the Runway Wetland.
Horned Lark on foraging on grassland, with mate nearby.
Horned Lark foraging on grassland, with mate nearby.
Turkey Vulture soaring over the reserve.  Turkey Vultures feed on animal carcasses, such as rabbits that have been taken by hawks.
Turkey Vulture soaring over the reserve. Turkey Vultures feed on animal carcasses, such as rabbits that have been taken by hawks.

Author: richard94501

My blog is Alameda Point Environmental Report covering environmental issues from wildlife to cleanup at the former Navy base in Alameda now called Alameda Point. Articles on my blog are frequently printed in the Alameda Sun newspaper. I also host a Twitter site and a Flickr photo site. I hope you find my stories and photos of interest. Richard Bangert Alameda, California

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