MCAS Field Trip - DEC 10 - Habitat: Life on the Rocks—Birds and Lichens of the Rocky Seashore

Life on the Rocks [photo by Michael Mulroy]


Morro Coast Audubon Society Presents

FIELD TRIP:       Habitat: Life on the Rocks—Birds and Lichens of the Rocky Seashore

DATE:                  Sunday, December 10, 2023

TIME:                   1:00pm-3:00pm

LEADER:            Michael Mulroy

Trip is limited to 12 participants - Signups will be taken for 24 hours. Participants will be randomly selected. The remainder will be put on standby status in case of cancellations. Only registered people may attend.


Join lichen enthusiast Michael Mulroy on an ecological exploration of the wondrous lichens that thrive on the rocks of the salty, foggy coastline. After a brief introduction to lichens and their ecology, we will do a lichenology-speed stroll (i.e. SLOW) around the perimeter of Morro Rock. We will discuss the different environmental factors that influence the observable variation in the colorful lichen communities on different parts of the Rock. Then we will take advantage of the low tide to get up close and personal with the "hyper-maritime" lichens growing on the riprap rocks of the immediate bay shoreline. If lucky, we may even encounter one or two locally rare, charismatic macrolichens.

Throughout the walk we will also be on the lookout for shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, and other avian friends, as well as marine mammals. Magnifying loupes will be available for close looks at lichens, and binoculars are recommended for distance viewing of lichens higher up on the Rock. This walk will mostly take place on level ground, but be prepared to walk on uneven rocks and wet sand when we access the bay shoreline.

Things to bring: binoculars, layers, water, snack, hat, sunglasses, sturdy footwear. Restrooms are available. Rain Cancels.

ADA Accessible: No

Experience Level: All Levels Welcome

Registration and RSVP to confirmation Required! 

Registration will open on the morning of NOV 25th. On that date, the LINK to the Field Trip’s Registration Form will ONLY be sent out via MCAS ALERT and SLOCOBIRDING. If you are not already a member of these email lists, you can join MCAS ALERT via JOIN MCAS ALERT EMAIL LIST in the Footer of the MCAS website and/or SLOCOBIRDING via

Questions? Email