Greetings Alviso Adobe friends, 

Your monthly dose of nature and history is here for you! Although our indoor facilities remain closed, our outdoor open space known for its breathtaking views, luscious vegetation, and historical markers are awaiting your discovery.
 S T A Y  C O N N E C T E D
F O L L O W  us on F A C E B O O K F O L L O W us on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W us on I N S T A G R A M F O L L O W us on I N S T A G R A M
V I S I T our W E B S I T E V I S I T our W E B S I T E


New Year, Thankful for all the Birds
By Naturalist Martha Cerda
We almost have the first month of 2021 in the books! The start of the new year for many brings the opportunity for reflection, resolutions, and hopeful beginnings. While penciling down new aspirations and goals is great, I tend to keep in mind the things that I am and was thankful for in the past year. For me, birds are at the top of the list. I often joke that we don’t deserve birds! I mean take a look at them, bright, full of character and so, so, so mesmerizing. But maybe I am biased, birds have been a part of my life from a young age and that love grew when I moved the Bay area 10 years ago. The Bay area gave me a new sense of appreciation and love for birds! To say that they’ve infiltrated my world is an understatement and it’s only fitting that some of my new year resolutions revolve around my admiration for these aviary creatures. This year I hope to:
  • Continue with old traditions
  • Bird in the car more (as a passenger, don’t drive and bird please!)
  • Learn more about bird language
I am someone that likes checking multiple boxes with one adventure. So in thinking of how I can accomplish the following three resolutions I immediately thought of a tradition I started three years ago around this time of year. Every January I make my way to visit the Sandhill Cranes. The car ride is almost just as fun as getting to see these majestic birds. I end up spotting countless bird species, with just a few seconds to identify by name. Bird watching through the passenger car window has definitely made my observation skills sharper over time.

I had first heard of the Sandhill Cranes through a dear friend of mine who gets tickled at the thought of birds, just like me. She mentioned these majestic birds migrate hundreds of miles to the California’s Central Valley’s Delta and floodplains from Alaska, Oregon, and California’s Sierra Valley. And that is how this tradition came to be. By the end of the month I will be making my way approximately 75.5 miles northeast of the Alviso Adobe Community Park on a quest to visit my old friends. The Sandhill Crane, Antigone canadensis, is one if the oldest known bird species. A crane fossil dating from the Pliocene period (roughly 5.3-2.6 million years ago) has near identical features to present-day sandhill cranes! 
These ancient birds are in search of better climate and a bountiful food supply over the winter months and can be spotted across wetlands and fields. Both habitats offer a well-rounded diet to these omnivores. On the menu are small reptiles, amphibians, tubers, roots of aquatic plants, rodents, insects, and grains. Standing about 4 feet tall, with a wing span ranging up to 7 feet, the drooping feathers form a ‘bustle’ covering its short tail making its back end pretty voluminous. The slate-gray body feathers and striking red feathery crowns are prevalent across adults and easily catches one's eye.
Sandhill Cranes are easily spotted from your car window – maybe you’ll catch their iconic mating dance. The crane’s stretch their wings, leap in the air, and throw a few kicks in the air with their legs. Like any dance recital, head movement is imperative to the overall feel of the performance. While performing the mating dance, they bob their heads and do a few twirls here and there.
If you are worried you won’t be able to identify the Sandhill Cranes by sight, don’t. You might actually hear them before you see them, their frequent and poignant tunes can be heard from miles away. Birds make all kinds of sounds, for all kinds of reasons. And the Sandhill Cranes are no exception to this. To get to understand these birds, this upcoming visit I am hoping to spend some time learning about the crane’s language. We know that language is a vital part of connecting with others. And how can we learn a language? By taking the time to listen, observe, and reflect. The crane is known for its top three calls a ‘purr’ like contact call, the unison call shared with a partner, and lastly a sharp guard call.
If you are up for an adventure consider making the drive to the Cosumnes River Preserve, located between San Francisco and Stockton, off Interstate 5. If you do decide to visit these aviary creatures, keep a respectful distance to ensure these birds feel safe and you get to see them at their best.


Language is an important part of our lives. Communication comes in many unique forms and gives us the opportunity to connect with the past, present, and future. Explore California's first languages down below!


Embark on a digital tour to appreciate, celebrate, and preserve Pleasanton's heritage. Check out the Alviso Adobe Community Park's unique stories, videos, and historical pictures. Click here to begin your journey. 


Pigeon Post Highlight of the Month

Our pigeon post of the month is a a true piece of art! Inspired by their creation this month's response is an artistic expression of my own. We are hoping this inspires you to create your own artwork. 

Thank you to our curious friend for staying connected with the Alviso Adobe! And remember you can send over artwork, poems, songs, or stories to Pigeon Post. You don't have to send a question to receive a response. 
We want to hear from you! What's got you wondering? Send a postcard with your questions about local natural history - anything from wildlife to historic objects. One to two questions and responses will be posted here. 
Follow these 3 easy steps: 
1. Write a message! 
2. Personalize your postcard.
3. Include your address to
receive a response. 

Send your postcard to: 
Pigeon Post - Alviso Adobe
200 Old Bernal Avenue 
Pleasanton, CA. 94566


Catch our newest outdoor adventure! Explore history and the natural world as you discover 7 unique gems throughout the park.

Download the Adventure Lab App to get started! 

The adventure can be completed under an hour, with some extra time to explore outside. A low to moderate amount of walking is required to complete the course.


Visit the Virtual Library & Recreation Center for other Adobe resources and more. Here you'll find a great selection of free applications, online services and quality content that you can access from home. 
Alviso Adobe Community Park
3465 Old Foothill Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Closure of Non-Essential Facilities and City Government Meetings

Alameda County Public Health Department's current Health Order—issued on May 18, 2020—does not provide a sunset date for sheltering in place as previous Orders provided. Non-essential City services and facilities will be closed until further notice. For more information, and for live updates impacting our community, visit the City of Pleasanton COVID-19 Update Page.

Essential services that will remain available include Paratransit service to medical appointments and grocery stores only; Open Heart Kitchen's senior lunch program brown bag pick-up only; and Spectrum Community Services' Meals on Wheels. 

Contact our Staff:

Martha Cerda
Library and Recreation Coordinator/Naturalist

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City of Pleasanton · 3465 Old Foothill Road · PO Box 520 · Pleasanton, CA 94566 · USA