BY KRISTIN CIOFALO
We’ve just crossed the wooden footbridge at Bolsa Chica Wetlands when an animated birder stops to announce his prize sighting of the day. “Keep your eye out for a Mongolian Plover!” the man exclaims.
“Birders love unusual sightings,” says Greg Leo, the docent guiding us through this 1,200-acre ecological reserve. Rumor has it that a rare Sooty Tern has also been spotted this morning. These sightings bode well for the day ahead. Although my husband, daughter and I live just a few miles from the wetlands and frequently hike here, this is the first time we actually have a tour guide to tell us what we’re seeing.
My family has joined Greg on his inaugural bird tour… Continue Reading
BY CHELSEA SCHUYLER
“Hummer!” our guide shouts and all eyes turn skyward just in time to witness an Anna’s Hummingbird hover for an instant in midair, then dive-bomb a male Lazuli Bunting from twelve feet up. Incredibly, a vibration of the male’s hummingbird’s tail feathers creates a single piercing “chirp!” just as he pulls up from the dive. The volume is remarkable for such a small creature.
The bunting doesn’t bat an eye; apparently he is used to this.
With his brilliant blue head, orange chest and white wing bars, the Lazuli Bunting is the “target” bird of today’s hike, and a large group of us are gathered here on Portland Oregon’s Powell Butte to see it. But before we… Continue Reading
BY CASONDRA BREWSTER
Just a short, scenic drive from Seattle lies a 460-acre open space perfect for birders and wildlife enthusiasts. Located in the Snoqualmie Valley, Meadowbrook Farm has a herd of 300 elk, an extensive trail system and abundant solitude. Meadowbrook elk… Continue Reading
Meadowbrook Farm hosts a herd of nearly 300 elk. Visiting the farm early morning or late in the evening is the best time to encounter elk. Bring your binoculars and telephoto lenses, as it is safest to view the elk from a distance, especially if you go in the fall during rutting season.
“At first light in the morning, you can see elk on the farm quite close to the road,” said Jim Gildersleeve, wildlife biologist and
BY ROSE CLARK
Where can you see dozens of birds, wildflowers and hike over 30 miles of trails only 20 minutes from downtown San Diego? Covering almost 10 square miles, Mission Trails Regional Park offers a wide range of great outdoor and wildlife adventures.
“Welcome everybody to Mission Trails Regional Park!” our trail guide, Sonya Thorne-Mosqueda begins, “I’m very excited to get to share the country’s largest urban park with you this morning. Can anyone guess how many football fields can fit inside Mission Trails?”
Some of the children in our group of 14 excitedly raise their hands and shout out guesses: “200!”, “250!”, “No way – 1,000!” Actually, an amazing 5,800 football fields can fit within Mission Trails Regional… Continue Reading