We can now add migratory songbirds to a growing list of serendipitous benefactors of the long-term oak savannah restoration at our Wantrup Preserve.

Recently, the Sacramento Bee published a story on how migratory songbirds seem to prefer native oaks.


“Our study has shown that a surprisingly large number of migratory songbirds use valley oaks as foraging stopover sites during the fall and spring migrations,” Airola said. “The group of affected species includes a wide range of colorful warblers, vireos, tanagers, flycatchers and grosbeaks.”

The article does a nice job of describing the importance of protecting the native trees and we couldn’t agree more.

Over the course of 30 years, the Land Trust has strived to increase an already diverse oak woodland habitat on our Wantrup Preserve, with our most recent planting coming not that long ago.

In 2015, together with students, volunteers and staff, the Land Trust planted about 400 germinated acorns into 190 planting sites, each with 2-3 acorns to increase the probability of survival.

Spread out over 11 acres with 30 feet between them, many of those plantings have survived. Volunteer stewardship workdays since then have helped the seedlings grow thanks to weed pulling and individualized attention.

And with luck, those seedlings will one day be full grown and an important part of the migratory songbird’s journey.

For those who are interested in volunteering for a workday on our Wantrup Preserve, keep an eye out for our 2018 Spring/Summer Hike List in the coming weeks.