On July 22, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is offering their first ever Twilight Tour, giving visitors a rare chance to learn about and observe nocturnal and crepuscular (active primarily during twilight) animal behavior.
“Even though a lot of these animals can be seen during the daytime, many of them get excitable at dusk and this will give people a chance to observe that,” says Michelle Fowler, Education Outreach Director for the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. “It will be a great opportunity to see the differences in the animals than what you can normally see during the day.”
According to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, the non-profit is “dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, and the promotion of appreciation of wildlife through our education outreach program.”
To that end, the organization rescues about 1,500 sick, injured and orphaned animals a year, giving them medical care and a place to recover before being returned to their natural habitat. Good Samaritan veterinarians local to the area provide free or discounted services. The organization also gives presentations and tours to schools, scouts, and other groups, as well as tours every Saturday to the public. These tours, guided by one of the educational staff members, take visitors through an educational exhibit and the center’s facilities, and give guests a chance to meet the wildlife ambassadors.
The idea for the twilight tour originated with a staff member of the center who has a special interest and passion for nocturnal and crepuscular animals. Like the normal Saturday tours, the family-friendly, hour-and-a-half twilight tour will also be guided but will begin with an educational power point presentation and will have special emphasis given to the nocturnal and crepuscular animals and their behavior.
“It will be a little nerve-wracking because we’ve never done this before,” says Fowler. “Although the staff sees the animals at dusk and at night, they may get extra excitable with so many more people around. So it will be exciting for us as well.”
Due to the event occurring outside of staff member’s normal work hours, the twilight tour at this point will not be a regularly scheduled event. However, Fowler hopes that it will become an annual, or biannual, event.
“Every tour is a different learning experience,” says Fowler. “Even if you’ve come to a tour before and you attend another tour during the daytime, each time will be a completely different experience. It’s worthwhile to check out.”
Tour hours are 7 - 8:30 p.m. $20 for adults, $10 for kids (4 - 12), children under 4, free. Register by phone 707-992-0274