Spring 2013 BCCER Naturalist Outings

Only one 2013 Spring Naturalist Outing left at the Ecological Reserves!

Outing Fees: $5.00 per person except where indicated.
Maximum Capacity: 15 participants unless otherwise indicated
To sign up: Call (530) 898-5010
See below for complete details and instructions for participation.

Starting in March:
March 16th: Owls and Astronomy (moderate difficulty, 6:30 pm)
Dawn Garcia, Altacal Audubon Society, will team up with astronomer David Samuels to provide two night time adventures in one! Participants will help observe as Dawn and her crew capture, process, band, and release Northern Saw-Whet Owls (aka the world's cutest owls).  In between owl activity, David will point out stars, planets and constellations in the springtime sky. Never a dull moment at this first of its kind pairing!
Meet at 6:30 pm at the park-n-ride; limited to 15 participants.

March 23rd: Early Spring Wildflowers (easy, 9:00 am)
Join leader Daniel Barth to delight in spring’s first wildflowers and bid farewell to departing wintering birds on this leisurely 4-hour stroll. You will learn intriguing stories about the Reserve’s plants and animals, the geological forces that shaped Chico Creek canyon, and the Maidu Indians who once lived within the confines of these rugged canyon walls. 
Meet at 9:00 am at the park-n-ride; limited to 15 participants.

April 6th: Wilderness Survival Skills (moderate difficulty, 9:00 am -12:30 pm)
Join Scott Grist for a day of learning ancient wilderness survival techniques as used by the Native Americans of this area. We will cover the basics of finding shelter, water, fire, and food on a moderate hike. There will be a demonstration for each of the four subjects: debris hut, water purification, bow drill fire, and edible plants. Scott Grist graduated from CSU, Chico with a degree in Geology, which increased his interest and passion for the Earth. This led him to study nature and the Earth more in depth, living in the wilderness for extended periods of time, learning to live in balance without any manufactured tools. He returned to Chico to share his knowledge with people of all ages. He also works as a Teen Counselor at the local Boys and Girls Club.
Meet at 9:00 am at the park-n-ride; limited to 15 participants.

April 14th: No Child Left Inside (easy, 9:00 am - 12:30 pm)
Join Claire Hutkins Seda for a family-friendly hike to give kids of all ages time to connect and explore the outside world.  Massive oaks, fragile flowers, and a spring symphony from a forest full of birdsong will delight and inspire your young ones.  Bring a picnic (and remember to pack out everything you bring) and enjoy kids’ games in the barn after the hike.  Please carpool -- meet at the Chico Park & Ride at 9am; drive down to the barn to meet at 9:30 to begin the hike.  
Leave the reserve at 12 noon to return to your cars by around 12:30.  Limited to 20 participants.

April 21st: Take a Walk on the Wild Side – Musty Buck Ridge (strenuous, full-day hike)
Dr. Paul Maslin has spent the last twelve years learning, understanding, preserving, and restoring the 4,000 acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve and has an intimate familiarity with its natural history. Join him for an insightful exploration of the seldom visited Musty Buck Ridge area of the Reserve. You’ll wade the creek, hike to the top of the ridge, enjoy rare views of the valley and find an abundance of wildflowers and other natural phenomena. This hike is several miles on trails but over some rough terrain.  Hikers should be in good physical condition. Bring water shoes or sandals for crossing the creek. We’ll start early as it will be a full day.
Meet at 8:00 am at the park-n-ride; limited to 15 participants.

April 27th: Identifying Spring Bird Song (moderate, 7:00 am-1:00 pm)
Learning to identify bird song will increase your ability to detect the presence of many bird species and greatly enhance your enjoyment of time spent in the outdoors. Scott Huber has led numerous workshops and field trips on western bird song identification, and in addition to pointing out songs, calls, and the species they belong to, he will share tips and clues to audio identification. Bring your binoculars – you’ll want to match the visual field marks of the birds you see to their songs!
Meet at the Chico Park-n-Ride at 7:00 am and be back to your vehicle at 1:00 pm (app.). Limited to 15 participants.

May 4th: Flower Identification Hike (moderate, 9:00 am)
Join Robert Fisher for this hike, meant for the wildflower enthusiast of any skill level.  Our goal is to learn a few new foothill plants, take photos, share any knowledge we have on the characteristics that separate our local species, and learn their common or Latin names. We will develop a sharper eye for plants, large and small, and a few of the details that separate them from each other. Bring your favorite identification book and a hand lens if you have one.
Meet at 9:00 am at the park-n-ride; limited to 15 participants.

May 11th: Bat Night (moderate, 6:30 pm)
Long the subject of myth and legend, bats are one of the world’s most amazing and misunderstood creatures. Shahroukh Mistry of Butte College is highly regarded as the region’s “Bat Man” and will help us develop a better understanding of these wonderfully unique animals. Included in the evening will be a discussion of the various species of bats that frequent the Ecological Reserve, the different habitat niches they prefer, their roosting preferences, bat netting and identification by vocalization. Lose your fear and learn to love bats!
Meet at 6:30 pm at the park-n-ride; limited to 15 participants.

May 25th: Moth Night (moderate, 6:30 pm)
Moths are generally more active at night and are therefore less well-known to us than their daytime counterparts the butterflies. Join Chico State entomologist, Dr. Don Miller, in an exciting evening of moth baiting, observing, identifying and collecting. Participants will assist with the set-up of moth-attracting lights in three different habitat types on the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve. As the evening darkens and moths are lured to the lights, we will discuss diagnostic field marks of each and keep a list of species and numbers observed. Moth Night is part of a national effort to develop an annual moth survey throughout the country. Families with well-supervised children encouraged, not appropriate for children under 6.
Meet at 6:30 at the park-n-ride; limited to 15 participants.

This outing has been CANCELED:
June 1st: Using the Sun to Cook Your Food!
(easy, 9:00 am) Among his many talents and experiences Todd Harris has worked in Kenya teaching native people how to create and use parabolic or solar ovens to cook their food in areas devoid of fuel. At this outing Todd will walk you through building your own solar box cooker and participants will have an opportunity to bake their own ‘solar brownies’. There is a flat fee of $35 for materials for this event and participants will be able to keep their oven.
Meet at 9:00 am at the park-n-ride.

June 4th: BCCER Annual Butterfly Survey (moderate, 9:00 am)
Join the sixth annual butterfly survey on Tuesday, June 4. This event is part of the North American Butterfly Association’s national efforts to collect population trend data. Local expert entomologist Don Miller will lead the trip on the BCCER. Novices will be teamed with experienced butterfly surveyors and will travel to many interesting parts of the reserve to count butterflies.
Meet at 9:00 am at the park-n-ride. No limit.

Guide to Outing Activity Level

Strenuous outings are four to eight hour trips, often allowing groups to access the most remote areas of the BCCER and discover the hidden treasures few are able to experience. Hiking may be over difficult, steep terrain.

Moderate outings are generally four hours or less, and may include descending into the Canyon on dirt roads and primitive hiking trails to access point of interest.

Easy outings are generally less than four hours in duration, follow the easiest paths and roads of the reserve and may include extended periods of sitting and observation.

Additional Info:
Meeting Time/Place: Please see outing description for meeting time. All outings begin at the Chico Park-n-Ride (western most lot, closest to Hwy 99) at 9:00 am unless otherwise indicated. Participants will be met by the leader and are encouraged to carpool to the Reserve.

Wear/Bring: Unless otherwise noted in the outing description participants should wear sturdy hiking shoes with lugged soles, long-pants, an over-shirt in case of cool evening weather, consider a hat or sun-screen (daytime outings) and bring a sack lunch or snack and water. Binoculars are helpful on most hikes.  Mosquito repellant is advisable for evening outings.

Maximum of 15 people per outing unless otherwise indicated.

$5 per person fee assists us in the operational costs associated with this program. Pease have check or cash (sorry we cannot make change) available at the onset of the outing. 

For more information and to sign up call our office at (530) 898-5010. Visit us on our web site at www.csuchico.edu/bccer/