(by Micayla)This week we went to STARR Ranch near Trabuco Canyon. We were driving along in a neighborhood and then to get to the ranch we went down this random road that turned into a dirt road, which lead us over a creek and under bent over trees... which finally lead us to STARR Ranch!
STARR Ranch is a 4,000 acre meadow of wild land. It is home to deer, mountain lions, grey foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, opossums, and skunks - including rare spotted skunks. We took a walk (led by wildlife biologist, Scott) and looked at some 'scent stations '. A scent station is a rock sprayed with a special kind of (animal urine and skunk spray stuff) spray in the middle of a bunch of powder. At the scent stations we saw bobcat, grey fox, skunk, coyote, and raccoon paw prints in the powder. We got to measure the paw and look at the toes to identify what kind of an animal it was.
Then we went on a hike with Lisa (who is an ornithologist) to look at plants and birds. We saw a falcon and a red tailed hawk and identified smelly plants like, white sage, black sage, and sagebrush. We also saw this salamander (in photo above).
At the end of our hike we ran into Heull Howser who was doing a "California's Gold" show on Starr Ranch. He asked our group to be in a clip that will be at the end of his program. You can learn more about Starr Ranch and look for us on March 2nd and March 10th at 7:30p.m. on KCET (LA).
~Fun fact: did you know that on any dog or cat their front paws are bigger than their back paws? Check on your own cat or dog!!
~Starr Ranch is also home to some baby owls that you can see on a video cam here.