Condor Country Session 1 – Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge - October 17, 2020
The endangered California Condor, with a 9-foot wingspan, is North America's largest land bird. Capable of long distance flights of a hundred miles soaring on fixed wings, this scavenging member of the vulture family traces its ancestry back to the Ice Age. Other aspects of condor biology – including taxonomy and life history – are discussed.
The California Condor Recovery Program has assisted bringing back a species from near extinction, with innovative management techniques including captive breeding, double clutching, reintroduction of young to the wild, nest site monitoring, and monitoring the wild population by fitting free flying condors with radio and gps-tracking devices.
Take a virtual field trip to Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, into the foothills of the Transverse Range and bordering the southern San Joaquin Valley. This virtually guided inside tour of the refuge (closed to the public without advanced reservations) highlights radio tracking of free flying condors and distant viewing of juvenile condors within the flight pen, soon to be released and taking their first flights into the wild. Here within the rugged mountainous terrain and spectacular scenery in the heart of ‘Condor Country’.
Condor Country Session 2 – Hi Mountain Lookout – October 24, 2020
The Hi Mountain Lookout Project, founded in 1996, is a collaborative venture with Morro Coast Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Cal Poly Biological Sciences Department, Ventana Wildlife Society, and Pinnacles National Park.
The Lookout is a restored fire lookout, now also functioning as a biological field research station and nature interpretive center. Staffed by community volunteers and Cal Poly student interns, visitors to the lookout enjoy the opportunities for bird watching, botanizing, studying the local geology, and observing staff and volunteers monitoring the flight movements of the endangered California Condor population, with radio telemetry equipment.
Review the history of the Lookout Project since its inception nearly 25 years ago, and the many years of collaborative efforts at restoring, staffing, and conducting field research projects at Hi Mountain.
Take a virtual field trip to Hi Mountain Lookout in the backcountry of San Luis Obispo County, located on the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains at 3,199 ft. elevation and within Los Padres National Forest. An inside guided tour of the lookout facilities includes the staff and volunteer’s living quarters and the visitor interpretive center. Photographic documentation of the local flora and fauna - including recent wildlife sightings of bears, mountain lions and bobcats - and the local geology and geographical landmarks viewed from the lookout will be featured.
There are opportunities for participants in this course to volunteer at the lookout in the future, schedule a visit, participate in the annual open house event, or come up for a picnic and enjoy the 360* view, from the coast to the snow-covered Sierras! The annual open house event with guided field trips, children’s activities, potluck picnic, and guest speakers is an annual tradition since 2002.
Condor Photo: ©U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Lookout with Moon: ©Joel Weiss
TIME: 9:00 - 10:00am
FEE: $20 for Series or $15 for Individual Dates
MODE OF DELIVERY: Live Remote - Zoom
INSTRUCTOR: Steve Schubert
QUESTIONS: Contact instructor at email@example.com or (805) 440-9390
|Meet the instructor|
Steve attended college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and received a Master’s degree in Field Biology and a Life Sciences Secondary Teaching Credential. He taught high school biology and earth sciences for several years, has taught natural history courses for Cuesta College Community Programs more than 25 years and works as a naturalist instructor at a local residential outdoor school program called Camp KEEP (Kern Environmental Education Program), attended by more than 3,000 6th grade students each school year.
He served on the committee that published the book “Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo” and the eBook “Plants of the Carrizo Plain”. Steve authored the book entitled “The Peregrine Falcons of Morro Rock – A 50-year History”, available at Amazon.com. He is past-President of Morro Coast Audubon Society and is the Volunteer Coordinator of the Hi Mountain Lookout Project (www.facebook.com/condorlookout), a restored fire lookout in Los Padres National Forest where volunteers and college interns radiotrack the movements of California Condors and conduct biological field research projects. He has been a speaker and field trip leader for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival each year since its inception more than 20 years ago.
Steve enjoys kayaking, running, biking, hiking, playing basketball, and wildlife and landscape photography (photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12571965@N07