The white-crowned sparrow is a large sparrow identified by its range of brown and gray feathers with a distinct white and black striped feather pattern on the head. When it comes to their coloring, these birds can be identified by regional differences. For example, white-crowned sparrows that are found along the Pacific Coast tend to have yellow bills and more dull white head stripes, whereas white-crowned sparrows found in the northern United States can have orange or pink bills with slightly different head stripes.
The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are home to a vast network of trails that allow nature lovers to experience the beauty of Orange County’s native wildlands. Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Planning & Infrastructure team thoughtfully plans and maintains a system of roads, trails, signage, and facilities that allow the public to safely access remote areas of the Landmarks.
In 2020, IRC’s Planning & Infrastructure team began implementing OC Parks’ Master Signage Plan that replaced current signage on the Landmarks with larger, more visible and brighter signs in order to help visitors navigate their way through local wildlands. Within five months of starting the project, the IRC team was able to replace signs in Limestone Canyon, Weir Canyon, Baker Canyon and Black Star Canyon.
Not your average turkey, the turkey vulture is a large dark feathered bird that can be seen scavenging around the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. With massive broad wings encasing long fingers and tails that extend past their toes in flight, turkey vultures can be easily spotted as they are larger than most raptors, measuring 25-32” in length with a 70” wingspan.
The feeling of fall is in the air on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and Thanksgiving is just around the corner! At Irvine Ranch Conservancy, we have so much to be thankful for this year; from the beauty of nature to our volunteers and partners.
The Landmarks are an important part of Orange County’s native wildlands, which is why we need to protect and restore these sensitive habitats to ensure they thrive for years to come. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, Irvine Ranch Conservancy can successfully execute restoration projects throughout the Landmarks, as well as create remarkable experiences for the community. Everyday our volunteers donate their time to our natural resources, whether it's guiding a hike, tending to plants, watching for fires, or inspiring future stewards, we couldn’t be more thankful.
There are a wide variety of native species on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks that are crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. However, invasive plants, animals and insects compete with these native species for vital resources, making them one of the most critical threats to native habitats found in Orange County.
Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Invasive Species Control team works collaboratively with volunteers and regional partners to monitor and control invasive species from degrading natural habitats. One invasive species that poses a threat to the Landmarks is the Shot Hole Borer.
Welcome to the Irvine Ranch Conservancy "News from the Field" blog. These articles are written by Conservancy staff about activities and projects in and near the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.