By Ned MacKay According to Katie Colbert, the East Bay Regional Park District naturalist who has studied the reptiles for many years: “People are seeing the rattlesnakes now because they have come out of their winter dormancy and are moving around mostly looking for food, but the males might also be ranging a little further afield looking for females.” Regional Park staffers relocate rattlesnakes rather than kill them, because the snakes are part of the natural environment since they prey on rodents and other small animals. And, in turn, they are preyed upon larger animals such as coyotes and raptors. For information visit: www.dfg.ca.gov. Dogs can be vaccinated in advance to protect them from bites due to their natural curiosity which causes them to sniff first. Biking… Naturalist Eddie Willis is leading a 20-mile bike ride along the flat, paved Marsh Creek Regional Trail from Brentwood to the new Big Break Visitor Center and back. It’s from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, June 9, for ages ten and older. Bring your own bicycle and helmet. The ride is free, but registration is required. For registration and information, call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 2468. Bees… Bees and other insects will be the program focus Sunday, May 19 at Tilden Nature Area in Berkeley. From 10:30 a.m. to noon, naturalist James Wilson will talk about the importance of a healthy bee population. Then from 2 to 4 p.m., Wilson will lead an insect safari for those six and older. For information, call 510-544-2233. Wildflowers… The Wednesday Walkers will search for late spring wildflowers at Tilden Regional Park during a moderately strenuous five-mile free walk on May 22 at 9:30a.m.at the Tilden steam train lot, which is located on Lomas Cantadas off Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Oakland. For information, call 510-544-3282 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Bats Search… Naturalist Cat Taylor will lead a free bat watch from 7 to 10:45 p.m. Friday, May 24 at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton. The group will use bat-detecting instrumentation to observe a potential bat colony or feeding site. Registration is required. Call 888-327-2757, select option 2, and refer to program 2511.
Rattlesnakes, Bats, Bees, Bikes and Wildflowers
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