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Safety, Tracking & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country

Event Details

Safety, Tracking & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country

Time: April 24, 2013 from 6pm to 8:30pm
Location: WWU Campus - AW 210
Street: W College Way
City/Town: Bellingham
Website or Map:
Phone: 425-248-0253
Event Type: earth, day, celebration, wildlife, class
Organized By: Chris Chisholm
Latest Activity: Apr 9, 2013

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Event Description

Artwork of Wolf College instructor by Joanna Colbert and used with permission.

No college or other affiliation needed. Continue your Earth Day Celebrations with us today! Here's the itinerary for today from our website which you can also view at

This class will be spent outdoors, so please dress for the weather as we practice a series of hands-on skills. In addition to your favorite bird book, the recommended field guide for this class is Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest by David Moskowitz which we will have available for sale at class, or if you have another field guide of animal tracks, bring that.

Class cost is $15 for one person, $10 for students/low income, and $10 per additional friend/family member attending together.

30 Minutes – Wolves, Cougars & Bears: We will start the first hour promptly with a safety overview for living, hiking, hunting and foraging in wolf, cougar and bear country. It is important to understand large predators and their prey in order to keep yourself safe, and to keep them safe in the wild. The key is knowledge, and taking right action based on that knowledge. Also, wolves have returned to Washington & Oregon. So now, we have more than just cougars and bears to consider. That sounds scary, but in reality, there will be fewer cougars and black bears because wolves will be competing on the same territory.

30 Minutes – Wildlife Trackers Training: We will continue with an overview of Wildlife Tracking in order to establish common goals and vocabulary which will be important in order to recognize tracks and other signs of animals. We will continue with a lecture on the track characteristics of mammal families present in our area. Finally, and super important to tracking, but something that takes a bit of childlike bravery, we will choose some volunteers to demonstrate “animal forms” which are the way animals move, as this is critical to really understand how tracks get laid on the ground.

30 Minutes – Bird Songs, Calls & Alarms: As a transition into birds, we will discuss their tracks since we are likely to find sign of. We will also have a fascinating lesson on scatology in hopes of dissecting scat, owl pellets, and other droppings we come across when we go outside later. But most important, we will overview the 5 categories of “bird language” which are key not only to identification, but to keeping yourself safe around predators in nature. That’s right, the easiest way to know that there are predators near-by is to listen to the birds!

30 Minutes – Awareness in Nature:  We will head outside for the remainder of class. We like to say that if you bring home just one set of skills from tonight’s class, that these awareness activities are it. They will help you see more wildlife, and keep you safer, in city and wilderness, better than any other set of knowledge. Using the knowledge and awareness you have developed thus far in class, we will explore outside and discuss live “sign” of all kinds. We’ll look for and discuss scrapes, lays, burrows, latrines, larders, nests, partial tracks, pressure releases, vegetative cuttings, and everything else.

Email or Call us at any time with any questions and requests.

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