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  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    Caroline Brady, with the California Waterfowl Association, works with Lincoln High School students to sweep a field, looking to locate waterfowl nests and save the eggs before the field is harvested for hay.

  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    A nest of mallard duck eggs that were hatching.

Lincoln teens on mission to save waterfowl

Published: Wednesday, May. 7, 2014 - 9:54 pm

Two classes of students from Lincoln High School fanned out across a farm field with California Waterfowl Association biologists Wednesday morning.

Their mission was to locate waterfowl nests and collect the eggs – a high-stakes Easter egg hunt to save the lives of the unhatched birds before the field is harvested for hay.

Each year, tens of thousands of birds in California make their nests in fields that will be harvested or plowed before the eggs get a chance to hatch. Volunteers help mitigate the losses by transporting the eggs to a salvage facility, where the eggs will be incubated and ducklings reared until they can be returned to the wild.

To flush waterfowl from their nests Wednesday, biologists dragged a rope across a field using two ATVs. Students walked behind the rope, ready to spot the nests and rescue the eggs.

The field, which is part of the 405-acre Lincoln High School Farm, has approximately 70 acres of dense nesting cover that will be harvested for hay this week. It is located adjacent to a brood pond that supports the nesting adult waterfowl and the hatchlings when they’re ready to hit the water.



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