Naturalist Ed Series: Owls of Sonoma Mountain

Owls vocalize to claim and defend territories, to attract mates and keep in contact with each other. Observing owl sounds and identifying calls is particularly important when it comes to these primarily (but not always!) nocturnal species since they are often easier to observe by sound than sight. Join us as we traverse slowly through the Osborn Preserve on Sonoma Mountain to listen for owls and learn about owl diversity!


Ruth Rudesill is a lifelong nature lover with a degree in Wildlife Management Biology from Humboldt State University. Blessed with great hearing, night sounds have become a special interest of hers along with a love of owls. Ruth is with the local Sonoma County bird club, Redwood Region Ornithological Society


Birds live everywhere in the world. Explore SSU’s Osborn Preserve on Sonoma Mountain to observe a unique diversity of birds and discover ways to identify species based on their physical appearance and vocal characteristics and any evidence they leave behind.

This event is part of the Naturalist Ed Series. The event within this Series allows participants the option to become Osborn Naturalists to address nature-deficit disorder. No experience required. Must be age 18 years or older.


The events within the Naturalist Ed Series are held outdoors at SSU’s Fairfield Osborn Preserve, a 15-minute drive from SSU’s main campus. All events occur rain or shine.

The maximum hike is 0.5 mile with a 150-foot elevation gain. 

Directions are provided in your registration confirmation email. A sink for handwashing, potable water and restrooms are available on site. Please arrive to park in advance of the registered event start time. The preserve gate will be unlocked 20 minutes before the event start time. You will be asked to sign a liability waiver upon your arrival. We will meet outside at the Osborn Education Center which is across the footbridge on the east side of the parking lot. Pets and smoking are not permitted.

Parking is limited so please consider carpooling, and let us know if you plan to do this so we can open more registration spots accordingly.

COVID-19 Safety

Do not attend if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19. All SSU updated guidelines can be found here.

What to Bring

Please wear quiet clothing (i.e., clothing that does not make noise when you move) so we can listen for sounds. Please bring a backpack and a water bottle. We recommend layered clothing, covered shoes such as hiking boots, a hat and insect protection.  We recommend you bring binoculars if you have them.

How to Sign Up

See registration link below. Each participant should register separately.

This event is free of charge.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

Osborn Naturalists

We offer a Naturalist Ed Series to become an Osborn Naturalist. Please contact Julie Wittmann for more information about how to become an Osborn Naturalist at You can also learn more about becoming an Osborn naturalist here.

Fairfield Osborn Preserve
Admission Fees
Contact Email
Contact Name
Kerry Wininger
Date & Time Registration Link
Saturday, August, 17, 2024, 5:30pm to 8:30pm