Lassen National Forest firefighters from Engine 16, out of the Almanor Ranger District, install an informational sign near Lake Almanor. The signs are part of Plumas Audubon’s efforts to education the public about grebes. Photo courtesy Plumas Audubon
The Plumas Audubon Society has been busy installing interpretive signs at selected locations on Eagle Lake and Lake Almanor. These signs are designed to inform lake users about the unique traits of western and Clark’s grebes, which are migratory diving birds that come to local lakes during the summer.
They travel from their wintering grounds along the Pacific Coast in search of lakes and marshes where they come to hunt small fish, build their floating nests, mate and raise their young. Plumas Audubon has been contributing to a statewide effort to increase the nesting success of these birds.
To achieve this goal Plumas Audubon has taken a multi-dimensional approach. Workers monitor grebe populations throughout the summer breeding season on Eagle Lake, Lake Almanor, Mountain Meadows Reservoir, Antelope Lake and Lake Davis; study their nesting colonies; observe their predators; and conduct outreach and education efforts throughout the region.
Plumas Audubon hopes that the increased public awareness will help lead to a greater appreciation of these birds and increase the total number of young that survive their first year. If this is the case, then there is a good chance that the grebes’ total population will also increase over time.
Plumas Audubon has worked with the United States Forest Service and the Collins Pine Co. to select high-visibility locations for these signs. In addition to sites that receive a lot of traffic, they also worked to select sites that provided visitors with a good chance of observing the grebes while in the vicinity of the sign.
Grebes were observed during the installation of each of the four signs. Plumas Audubon encourages everyone to take the time to visit one of the signs, and while there, to look around for a grebe.
On Lake Almanor the signs are located at the causeway near Chester on the south side of Highway 36, at the Canyon Dam boat ramp and the West Almanor boat ramp. On Eagle Lake the sign can be seen at the marina on the south shore.
Plumas Audubon thanks Audubon California, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the United States Forest Service (Ann Carlson, Michelle Ahearn, Soai Talbot, Jim Rust and the guys on Engine 16), the Collins Pine Co. and the Luckenbach Trustee Council Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for making this project happen.
To learn more about this project or to get to know more about Plumas Audubon, visit plumasaudubon.org. New members are always welcome. Plumas Audubon is involved with a wide array of bird-related projects throughout the upper Feather River watershed and anyone can get involved; contact Nils Lunder, outreach and education coordinator, at email@example.com.