Observing Birds of Prey - Feb 12 - Cuesta Class w/Steve Schubert

 Observing Birds of Prey


Photo: Turkey Vultures Horaltic Pose by Steve Schubert


Learn about the biology, classification, migration, predatory behaviors and prey preferences of locally occurring birds-of-prey, both year-round resident and seasonally overwintering raptors. Study flight and predatory adaptations. Learn to identify and recognize the diagnostic visual field marks useful in identification of species of Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, Ospreys, Kites, Harriers, Accipiters, Vultures, and Owls. 


Virtual guided field trip to birding locations on the Central Coast, including Morro Rock - home of the famous nesting Peregrine falcons – and associated coastal estuary and marshlands, then inland to grasslands and grazing pastures, shrublands, oak and streamside woodlands, forests, and freshwater lakes where raptors frequent overwintering and nesting habitats.


Community Programs Contact Information


Building 4100 - Office 4103 - SLO Campus


Mail to: 
PO Box 8106,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403 




(805) 546-3132 


(805) 546-3209 


Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
Closed daily from 12-1pm
Closed on Fridays and holidays 


Refund Policy


Register Online


DATES: 1 Saturday: February 12, 2022 

TIME: 9:00 - 10:30am 

FEE: $15 


MODE OF DELIVERY: Live Remote - Zoom; Lecture & guided virtual field trip

INSTRUCTOR: Steve Schubert 


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. 


Steve’s photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12571965@N07



Due to the Omicron surge, all MCAS Field Trips that are scheduled through the end of February are postponed. At that time, the MCAS Board will re-evaluate the situation and depending on the status of the pandemic, they can each be rescheduled. MCAS Field Trip Committee.

Field Trips (FT) have become very popular and are filling up fast. After things open back up for FTs, here is the way they will be announced. Info is posted to the MCAS Calendar, website, and Facebook. See more information (and links) at www.morrocoastaudubon.org. An MCAS Alert! and SLOCOBIRDING messages are also sent out about 28 days before a FT. Fill in JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST form in the MCAS website footer to start receiving the MCAS Alerts.

2022 Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

Due to current pandemic concerns, Morro Coast Audubon Society board reached the difficult decision to cancel all in-person Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival events. We all greatly regret any disappointment and inconvenience this decision has caused. We made our decision out of concern for the health and wellness of MBWBF participants and volunteers.

MCAS Workshop & Field Trip - FEB 9 & 16 - POSTPONED - Birding for Beginners


Morro Coast Audubon presents:  Birding for Beginners - POSTPONED

This is a special two-part offering that includes a workshop and a field trip. Those that register for Part 1 are automatically registered for Part 2.

WORKSHOP:     Birding for Beginners, Part 1

LOCATION:        Morro Coast Audubon Office, Morro Bay

DATE:                Wednesday, February 9, 2022

TIME:                10:00 AM To: 12:00 PM

LEADER:           Robbie Revel

CO-LEADER:     Karen Watts

This is the first part of a two-part series. Learn about the skills needed to master birding as a hobby.  Practice making observations, learn to use binoculars and spotting scopes, and learn about resources available for ongoing skill building. A discussion either in the Morro Coast Audubon office or an outside location will be followed by an outdoor walk to practice skills.  Skills practice can be done indoors if it is raining.  Bring binoculars if you have them.  Restrooms are available.  Children over 10 are welcome. 

You may sign up for both this workshop and the Part 2 (Field Trip to the Marina Boardwalk) at the same time if you wish. 

FIELD TRIP:      Birding for Beginners, Part 2

LOCATION:       State Park Marina Board Walk

DATE:                Wednesday, February 16, 2022

TIME:                 10:00AM to 12:00AM

LEADER:           Karen Watts

CO-LEADER:    Robbie Revel 

Take a leisurely walk along the Marina board walk with Robbie and Karen as we practice making quality observations using binoculars and spotting scopes, and using bird books and apps to identify some of our common winter birds.  Participation in Part 1 is helpful but not required. Those registered in Part 1 have first choice to register for Part 2. Children over 10 are welcome. Wear hat, sturdy shoes and layers as it can be windy. Bring binoculars, sunscreen, water and snacks as needed.  Restrooms are available at the campground and adjacent to the Bayside CafĂ©. Rain cancels. 


This series is limited to 12 participants. A waiting list will be started after the trip is full.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Beginners -  Children over 10 are welcome.

RSVP and Proof of Full COVID Vaccination Required!  

To participate, please email Robbie Revel, Field Trip committee at Robbie@morrocoastaudubon.org to request and receive a confirmed reservation for this field trip. Exact meeting location will be given to those with confirmed reservations. 

Contact: Robbie Revel robbie@morrocoastaudubon.org

MCAS Field Trip - FEB 4 - POSTPONED - Elfin Forest


Vicky and Wooly Stars (photo by C. Gillen)

Morro Coast Audubon Society Presents


FIELD TRIP:        Elfin Forest - POSTPONED

DATE:                  Friday, February 4, 2022

TIME:                   9:30AM-11AM

LEADER:             Vicky Johnsen

CO-LEADER:      Freddy Howell


Trip is limited to 12 participants - A waiting list will be started when the trip is full.


The Elfin Forest Natural Area encompasses multiple habitats: Dune-Scrub, Maritime Chaparral, Manzanita/Oak woodland complex, and Riparian + Marsh giving us opportunities to see many different species of land birds. We will look for shorebirds, ducks, grebes and other wintering migrants from the viewing platforms. Our walk is a loop of about 1 mile on boardwalk and sandy trails.


Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate


RSVP and Proof of Full COVID Vaccination Required!


To participate, please email Freddy Howell, Field Trip Coordinator, at Freddy@morrocoastaudubon.org to request and receive a confirmed reservation for this field trip. Exact meeting location will be given to those with confirmed reservations. 


Bring binoculars and field guide; Hats and sunscreen are suggested along with dressing for cool and windy conditions. Restrooms are NOT available. Rain cancels. 

Contact: Freddy Howell, freddy@morrocoastaudubon.org





Presented during the Virtual Community Program on December 19, 2021




This year's Libbie Agran Scholarship is awarded to a young woman from Paso Robles, Fathima Morales. Fathima stood out to her professors as a thoughtful student who works hard and has great potential to excel in Biology. They were impressed by her excellent performance and dedication in the fast-paced summer research course on eelgrass in the Morro Bay Estuary. They highlighted an outstanding seminar presentation on research ethics that she made to the Director of UC Riverside's Director of Ethics. Morro Coast Audubon is particularly pleased to be able to support Fathima since she is the first in her family to attend college. She hopes to inspire her siblings to similarly rise to high expectations and realize that they, too, can excel academically. It was with great pleasure that we awarded the 2021 Libbie Agran Scholarship to Fathima Morales.




This year the Board decided to add a special award to this ceremony: an award for Outstanding Service, which honors a person who has, over many years, worked to help make Morro Coast Audubon grow and thrive.

We are pleased to present special recognition to one of our most dedicated and influential members, Jan Surbey. Jan is one of those incredible and rare people who combine a delightful, welcoming personality with creativity, wisdom, and hard work to benefit a cause they love.


Jan has served on the Board for over 16 years, including serving as President, Past-President, and Field Trips Chair. She was President when Sweet Springs East was acquired. She was a key member of the Lands Committee from the time improvements were conceived to the completion of construction, which allowed East Sweet Springs to be opened to the public. She assisted in preparing budgets for the Board, as well as coordinating the MCAS Nominating Committee.


Jan has continued to be active with the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve. She conceived of and oversees the all-volunteer Sweet Springs Ambassador program. She recruits and trains these volunteers, as well as volunteering herself at the monthly Sweet Springs work parties.


Jan’s love of birds and her expertise have pushed her to lead numerous bird walks throughout the County, and she coordinated many more in her role as Field Trips Chair. She also created Family Day for the Winter Bird Festival and continued to assist with this very popular program.


Jan has been instrumental in cultivating and making donors feel welcomed and appreciated. She writes and sends thank you notes to every donor and business member, and she has coordinated the Volunteer of the Year awards for many years. She coordinated the Sweet Springs Circle of Friends fund-raising program, creates the plaques that honor these exceptional donors, and for many years organized an annual celebration at the installation of the Circle of Friends plaques.


And, to boot, Jan gives the greatest hugs!






Bill is a retired finish carpenter and also had a long and glorious run in professional long distance endurance bicycle racing. Bill began volunteering with Dave Clendenen (MCAS Land Manager) at Wind Wolves Preserve in 1998, and he followed Dave to the MCAS Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos. 


Although he continues to live in Santa Barbara, Bill regularly drives to Los Osos to volunteer at Sweet Springs. For Bill, making a contribution to conservation is a personal imperative, and this is clearly evident in his incredible record of dedicated volunteering. He almost never misses a volunteer work party at Sweet Springs, and, during the pandemic, he came up nearly every Wednesday to help with projects, including bridge and boardwalk maintenance and repair, drip irrigation installation and repair, invasive plant weeding, graffiti removal, fence maintenance and patching, propagation and planting of restoration plants, and construction and installation of bird nest boxes. Morro Coast Audubon is grateful for Bill’s dedication and skills.




Tom lives in Los Osos, a few blocks away from the MCAS Sweet Springs Nature Preserve. He retired a few years ago and has since become a regular volunteer at Sweet Springs. Tom is an incredibly dedicated volunteer, helping at Sweet Springs at least once a week with a myriad of projects. 


He is capable and handy and does many things including trail maintenance, clearing debris from drainage ditches, watering restoration plantings, weeding invasive plants, and putting trash and green bins out for pick-up. Tom has been a huge help to the MCAS Land Manager during construction and maintenance projects when a second set of hands is critical, and where his ability with plumbing and building has been hugely beneficial. Tom proactively looks for things that need to be done, and alerts the Land Manager when he sees a need for attention. He has been an incredible asset for Sweet Springs, keeping things working for the wildlife and enhancing public safety. Morro Coast Audubon is grateful for Tom’s dedication and skills.

MCAS Field Trip - FEB 1 - POSTPONED - Morro Bay State Park Marina Boardwalk

:       Morro Bay State Park Marina Boardwalk - 

DATE:                Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

TIME:                 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

LEADER:           Claudia Freitas 

CO-LEADER:    Robbie Revel 


Trip is limited to 12 participants. A waiting list will be started once trip is full.


Enjoy a morning stroll along the Boardwalk with MCAS Field Trip leaders, Claudia and Robbie, to identify wintering shorebirds and migrants, sea ducks and grebes, and the land birds occupying the coastal sage scrub habitat. It is a short walk of about one mile on a boardwalk and dirt path. Bring binoculars and field guide; Hats and sunscreen are suggested along with dressing for cool and windy conditions. Restrooms are available in the State Park campground and adjacent to Bay Cafe. Rain cancels.


Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate


RSVP and Proof of Full COVID Vaccination Required!

To participate, please email Robbie Revel, Field Trip committee at Robbie@morrocoastaudubon.org to request and receive a confirmed reservation for this field trip. Exact meeting location will be given to those with confirmed reservations. 

Contact Robbie Revel, Robbie@morrocoastaudubon.org 

MCAS Teen Scholarships to Camp Colorado - APPLY NOW!

 MCAS Teen Scholarship – Apply NOW!

Applications Open:                    January 1, 2022

Submission Deadline:                March 1, 2022


Morro Coast Audubon Society is pleased to announce a scholarship for up to two selected students, who are 13-18 years of age and reside in San Luis Obispo County, to attend the American Birding Association’s Camp Colorado(http://www.aba.org/camps/) that is being held July 23-30, 2022. This scholarship will encourage teens, who have already begun developing their birding skills, to pursue their interests in birds, the natural world, conservation, and education.


To apply students must complete an Online Application and identify a mentor/teacher (non-family) who agrees to submit a letter of recommendation. A Printable Worksheet can be downloaded, printed, and completed before filling out and submitting the online application. Find out more, and the above documents, at https://www.morrocoastaudubon.org/p/mcas-teen-scholarship.html


This scholarship will cover the cost of registration for the American Birding Association’s Camp Colorado ($1595), ABA student membership ($25), and travel costs to/from Colorado (up to $400). Scholarship recipients will also receive a 1-year membership in the Morro Coast Audubon Society ($20).


These scholarships are made possible through generous donations from people like you. You can donate to this scholarship HERE! Thanks!


Questions? Email Kaaren Perry, Education Chair, at kaaren@morrocoastaudubon.org.