California Nature

Watch a Whale, Half Moon Bay

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Stephanie said...

In Southern California, Captain Dave is very popular with dolphin and whale watching charters. He's in San Diego.


Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari offers you the opportunity to get close to and view the equisite California dolphins and California whales, as well as other beautiful sea creatures. Southern California whale watching can be one of the most peaceful and exciting adventures of your lifetime. We leave from Dana Point Harbor and take you on a 2 1/2 hour ocean adventure. Dana Point is located near Sea World California (apporximately 60 minutes away). Captain Dave Anderson is an experienced Marine naturalist who has been leading dolphin trips and whale watching from Dana Point since 1995. He has also created and produced the award winning documentary "Wild Dolphins and the Whales of Southern California". (To read more about Captain Dave, check out his bio. Call Captain Dave's to book your dolphin and whale safari and enjoy your awesome once-in-a-lifetime experience!!

Anonymous said...

Visit the Cat House!

See leopards, jaguars, tigers, ocelots, cougars, lynx and more.

The Exotic Feline Breeding Compound's
Feline Conservation Center (FCC)

Home to over 70 of the world's most endangered felines, EFBC/FCC is a breeding zoo and research facility. Funds received are used for the care and support of the compound's animals and long-term goals, which include a natural history museum and public education programs. The older cages are slowly being replaced by large natural habitat enclosures that rival those found at the best zoos-check out our current construction page to see what's in progress. Enrichment programs keep the cats active. EFBC's Feline Conservation Center is part of a worldwide network of zoos and facilities dedicated to the preservation of endangered cats, acting as a modern-day ark in the face of human overpopulation and mass extinction of animal species. We are involved in cooperative breeding projects with other zoos and facilities throughout the world. The majority of FCC's cats are not abandoned pets as you would find at a rescue facility, they are purebred animals that are registered within ISIS and the Species Survival Plan (SSP) or Population Management Plan (PMP) for each cat species. Cubs born here are often sent to other zoos for their breeding programs. We do NOT sell cats to the public.

EFBC's Feline Conservation Center (FCC), also known as the Cat House, is located in Rosamond, California. Cat lovers of all ages who discover this desert zoo/wildlife museum north of Los Angeles are surprised and amazed at the variety of wild cat species found here. We are dedicated to the protection and preservation of the world's endangered felines.

Twilight Tours - 22 April, 17 June, 16 September 2006
Special evening open houses called "Twilight Tours" are held three times a year (spring, summer, and fall). These are always held on Saturday evenings. The only time the compound is open in the evening, the cats are much more active. Also, visitors can wander around parts of the compound that are not open to visitors during the day. This is because Twilight Tours are restricted to adults only (18 and over). There is an admission fee of $15 per person. Our cat's "adoptive parents" are invited to attend the Summer tour as our special guests. A special photo opportunity with one of our friendlier cats is a Twilight Tour highlight - you can have your photo taken with a cat for an extra fee (if one is cooperating).
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. (5 if prepaid) until it's dark out. There is a bake sale sponsored by FCC's American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) chapter, a raffle, and other surprises - goldfish in the fishing cat ponds, watermelons for the tigers, cubs out on leashes - there's something different every time, and of course lots of beautiful cats to see, hear, and photograph. Call (661) 256-3793, 10 am-4 pm except Wednesdays.

Anne said...

Do some bird watching at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

More than 300 species of birds and mammals, both resident and migratory, use the Refuges. The marshes support fish, frogs, and invertebrates, which are used by grebes, white pelicans, egrets, herons, and bitterns as a food resource. Shorebirds probe the mud for insects, snails, and worms, while raptors prey on the abundant waterfowl, rodents, and small birds. Woodpeckers, marsh wrens, and finches are a few of the many songbirds which feed and nest in the Refuges' cottonwoods, willows, and wetland plants.

Approximately 44% of the Pacific Flyway's waterfowl population winters in the Sacramento Valley. Three million ducks and three-quarters of a million geese migrate here.

Anonymous said...

It might seem like a joke, but the Grunion Run is a real thing.

Happy Spring to all past and potential Grunion Greeters!
This is your friendly reminder that the most amazing beach-spawning fish in the world is headed your way. For the 5th year, citizen scientists (maybe YOU!) will observe the California Grunion's intimate activities on beautiful sandy beaches during the most ideal times for viewing. Your observations are reported via a web-based questionnaire to be used for beach management activities and scientific studies.
If you attend a training workshop you will be able to earn some fun prizes as well as having a wonderful time on the beach with this charismatic watchable wildlife. Rejoice in the knowledge that many of our monitoring dates are on weekends this year!
Please hit the link to "Volunteer" for a list of workshops from the border to the Bay. I hope you will RSVP to join us for this unique opportunity to contribute to our knowledge about this mysterious and fascinating animal.

What is a grunion?
California grunion are a species of marine fish found only along the coast of southern California and northern Baja California. They are justifiably famous for their unique spawning behavior. Grunion spawn completely out of the water and lay their eggs on many sandy beaches in California. Shortly after high tide, on specific nights, sections of these beaches sometimes are covered with thousands of grunion dancing about on the sand. The popularity of these grunion runs means that some nights there are more people lining the beaches than grunion in the run.

The eggs remain buried in the sand throughout incubation, fully out of water for approximately 2 weeks. The larvae hatch when the eggs wash out by high waves during tides before the new and full moons. Grunion spawn at the age of 1 year, and live for 2 to 4 years. Because of their vulnerability during the spawning season, they are protected by a closed season. No taking of grunion is permitted during April and May. During other months, no gear is permitted so collection may take place only with bare hands, and a fishing license is required. Here at Grunion.Org we encourage “catch and release” of the grunion. For more information visit California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Region

your sis said...

Join up with the Marin Audubon Society for the Christmas Bird Count

The Southern Marin count circle is 15 miles in diameter and ranges from Terra Linda to Sausalito, and Bolinas to San Pablo Bay. Volunteers are assigned to 23 separate areas within this count circle and identify and record every individual bird within their area of this count circle. The compiler combines each area's total species and individual birds, and sends this on to National Audubon.

For those of you not familiar with Christmas bird counts, to quote from www.audubon.org/bird/cbc: "More than 50,000 observers participate each year in this all-day census of early-winter bird populations. The results of their efforts are compiled into the longest running database in ornithology. Simply put, the Christmas Bird Count, or "CBC", is citizen science in action. Up until the turn of the century, people commonly engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt". They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered quarry won. Conservation was in its beginning stages at the turn of the century, and many observers were becoming concerned about the indiscriminate slaughter of wildlife, and concurrent declines in bird populations. On Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, called for an end to the slaughter. He suggested that, rather than shooting birds, people count them instead. So began the Christmas Bird Count."

Thanks for your interest in Audubon's Christmas Bird Count.

The next and 107th Christmas Bird Count will take place between December 14, 2006 and January 5, 2007.

Check with Marin or your local Audubon Society for the date of the 2006 count.

Len said...

Can't get to this because you're visiting New Zealand instead? Then see whales at Kaikoura, just north of Christchurch. Or take the train over the mountains from there and see them (when the migration is running) from the small port town of Greymouth. Whales are absolutely wonderful. Every corporate teambuilding program worth it's salt should put this experience on the agenda. Talk about getting a sense of team and solidarity! Everyone on the boat comes back mezmerized by whales. Every time.

Michelle said...

Dana Wharf in Dana Point harbor is super fun too! You can fish, whale watch and take fun harbor cruises all from the same spot. The price is really nice if you have a tight budget like we do! www.danawharf.com