Since Tuesday I have been picking at night and only getting two to three hours of sleep each day at most. In addition to the Pinot Noir I grow and harvest for other wineries I'm also making my own wine and working on logistics during the day. It's a busy time, but I wanted to post a picture I received from Richard Sanford at Alma Rosa vineyards today.
In an earlier post, "A Shakespearean Woe in the Vineyard," I mentioned the peregrine falcons, and Bill Strickler asked a question about their effectiveness in protecting wine grapes from starlings. Sanford has been instrumental in re-introducing these birds and I asked him for a photo to post. (Some of you may have seen the tasting room at Alma Rosa and Chris Burroughs in the movie Sideways ...)
Richard Sanford and UC Santa Cruz have had excellent success in re-introducing peregrine falcons to California wine country.
Alma Rosa has been releasing these peregrine falcons, which are basically a combination of aviary-reared and wild young that have been rescued from dangerous nest sites on buildings and bridges. The UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group organizes and oversees the releases utilizing a university student workforce.
Falcons use ledges on tall cliff faces for nesting. Recently, they have begun to also use ledges on bridges and buildings. Young falcons fly quite well but land clumsily after their first flights, making some bridges and buildings lethal fledgling environments.
The young from the most dangerous sites are brought to Alma Rosa where they may fledge safely. When they are released from the "hack box," the vineyards provide a safe place for young falcons to acquire flight and hunting skills as they make their transition to wild independence over an eight-week period.
I have seen these amazing birds and they are beautiful! Thank you Richard!!!
Founded in 1975 to lead peregrine falcon population recovery efforts in California, the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group has successfully helped to rebuild the California peregrine falcon population from a low of two known pairs in 1970 to an estimated 250 pairs today. The group is a center of expertise at UC Santa Cruz that provides research, wildlife management and educational services to agencies, corporations, and the public. Visit their website, www.scpbrg.org, to learn more.
Frank Ostini — Buellton, CA — October 2, 2009 7:54pm ET
William C Strickler — DC Suburbs — October 5, 2009 11:23am ET
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