$255 – $395

Birds of the Eastern Mojave: Spring Migration (Biology X404.21, 2 units) Sp...

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California State University Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx

49441 Zzyzx Road

Baker, CA 92309

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Oases in the Mojave Desert are used by a wide variety of bird species every fall as stopping points during their southward migration. Beginning on Friday evening, this course examines the important role of these stopover areas in the conservation of neotropical migrant birds and introduces the techniques used to identify the common families of birds found in the vicinity of the Desert Studies Center. After slides and a brief lecture, the class takes a short night hike to look for nocturnal species. On Saturday, students travel by car to nearby sites in Death Valley, Baker and Soda Springs that serve as migrant “traps.” Some of these sites are marshes and others are merely small islands of green in a sea of desert. Through observation of both migrant and resident birds in their natural habitats, students learn about ecology, natural history and special adaptations to the harsh desert environment. Sunday’s activities center around the Desert Studies Center where more than 240 bird species have already been recorded. The course should benefit ornithology students of all levels, those interested in general desert ecology and teachers looking for useful ideas for the classroom.

This field study is based at the Desert Studies Center (of California State University) located within the Preserve at Soda Springs (Zzyzx), about a three-hour drive from Joshua Tree. The course fee includes two nights’ lodging at the Center (dormitory rooms & some couple rooms), and meals starting with breakfast Saturday through lunch on Sunday. Upon enrollment, you will be sent detailed information about the Center and what to bring.

This class earns 2 college units from University of California, Riverside Extension.

Click to download the course outline: Birds of the Mojave Desert Fall 2020

Hike Level: Moderate (Fitness Levels)

If you are a member of JTNPA you will get a $10 discount off every Desert Institute class. If you are not a member you can become one here.

Before registering, please take the time to review our General Class Information and download the Enrollment Attachments, that contain pertinent information about your class and Joshua Tree National Park. Camping reservations must be made through recreation.gov

Please print and fill out the PARTICIPANT AGREEMENT. You can bring the completed form to the class.

Cancellation Policy
If you need to cancel, please notify us at least seven days prior to the start of the course and we will process your request minus a $25 processing fee. No refunds, transfers, or credits will be granted after the seven-day date. Please note that we cannot make any exceptions to this refund policy for any reason, including but not limited to medical reasons, illness, travel delays, personal situations, emergencies, or weather. This program depends on registration alone for its funding. While inconvenient, please understand that this policy enables us to sustain our programs even with last minute cancellations. Course fees only cover a portion of Desert Institute program costs.



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California State University Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx

49441 Zzyzx Road

Baker, CA 92309

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