Owls are some of the most magical, powerful creatures on earth. The sound of an owl can stop you in your tracks, and their gaze is mesmerizing. Fortunately for those of us residing in Santa Cruz County, the coast and mountains of Western Santa Cruz County host as many as seven species of owls, often vocal during their pre-breeding courtship in late winter. This two-part class will provide an opportunity to learn about these fascinating creatures, then venture out into their habitat for an evening walk.
We begin on-campus with a lecture in the afternoon, full of “old-school” slides from photographs taken by the instructor during his decades of studying these beautiful birds of prey. We will review biology, species identification and habitat for our local owls. Students will learn to identify owl species by silhouette and their unique calls. After a dinner break, the class will meet again for an evening of nocturnal searching in Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.
Students should dress warm, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a flashlight!