In this introductory class, we will explore the diverse terrestrial ecosystems of the Laguna de Santa Rosa with an eye and ear towards tracking mammals and birds. Far from esoteric pursuits, tracking and bird language are practical tools that can be in every nature-lovers toolkit (next to the binoculars and field guides). After this class, you are guaranteed to see more raptors and more elusive mammals. We will learn about common bird vocalizations and what they mean while we scan the ground for data-rich scat and tracks. We will also look at different types of browse and feeding sign while practicing awareness and observation skills. This workshop will begin in Heron Hall with hot drinks and snacks and a brief introduction, then we will head out to a couple different field sites. The outing will include walking (up to ~2 miles) on mostly flat but uneven ground. This workshop is geared towards adults, but open to families with children 10 years and older, if the children are comfortable outdoors, self-motivated, and focused around learning in nature. Rain cancels (in which case we would fully refund your fee).
Marley Peifer is a level three certified tracker and has practiced with many of the best trackers in this bioregion including Jim Sullivan and Meghan Walla-Murphy. He has also learned from some of our area’s foremost observers of birds such as John Muir Laws and Keith Hansen. Marley lives in Sebastopol where he practices gardening, wildlife tracking, and nature journaling. Tracking animals and paying attention to birds have been fundamental practices for Marley ever since he realized how they increased his enjoyment of the outdoors. He is passionate about learning, teaching, and fine-tuning awareness in Nature.