Living Coast Nature Center
In December 2012, Pack 617 took the opportunity to visit the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista. All the scouts and their parents had a fun and education experience. We viewed the Sea Turtle feeding first and the Scouts and Siblings were very interested in the feeding, asking lots of good questions and learning that there is a very large Sea Turtle population right nearby in the Bay! We then proceeded in to watch the Shark feeding. No Great Whites here but lots of leopard sharks, grey smoothhound sharks, horn sharks, swell shark, shovel-nose guitarfish, bat rays, round rays, diamond rays, crabs and fish and more! After viewing the shark bay our Docent, Jose, took us to Eagle Mesa for the feeding of the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle. The Eagle’s were fed rats that were warmed from their frozen state. The Scouts were amazed at how quickly the rats were consumed! Raptor Row was next. No feeding here but the Scouts viewed the raptors here which include: Red-tailed Hawk,Red-shouldered Hawk, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture, Barn Owl, Great-horned Owl, Burrowing Owl, Short-eared Owl and the American Kestrel.
We also toured the gardens filled with native plants and visited the Shore Bird Aviary where we saw the Light-footed clapper rail, snowy egret, black-crowned night heron, black oyster catcher, red-breasted merganser and hooded merganser. To call the clapper rail our Docent Jose used his smart phone to play the call of the Clapper Rail! Sure enough, the Clapper Rails came out from hiding for all of us to see! The last thing we saw was the Giant Iguana they keep on display to remind everyone that responsible pet ownership is very important and that one should carefully consider how large a pet can get at maturity before taking on the responsibility of owning these types of exotic pets.
All in all it was a great trip! I had a great time as I learned about local wild life and the Pack grew to appreciate nature that much more. I was particularly impressed with how well the Scouts and the Siblings behaved themselves however I was not surprised as from my experience over the years with these boys has proved: Pack 617 has very responsible and attentive boys! Thanks to everyone who participated!
You can visit the Living Coast Discovery Center yourself. It is a great experience and you should do it at least once! They are always looking for volunteers so check it out! You will find the experience very rewarding!
Cub Master Andy