Dunes in Flight: the California Great Horned Owl

i Dec 22nd l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center

Dunes in Flight_December 2014_Great Horned Owl_COVER ARTThe California Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus pacificus) is our bird of choice for this month’s “Dunes in Flight.” The great horned owl’s range is extensive across North and South America, and can be observed in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex by birders lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this majestic hunter. The bird’s plumage is rich brown with dark stripes on its underside. Its average wing span is roughly 2 feet. The average weight of male great horned owls is about 2.2lbs. Females, on average, are 2.9lbs. (more…)

Dunes in Bloom: Monterey Pine

i Dec 4th l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center

MontereyPine at Rancho Marino Reserve

For the month of December, our chosen plant of the month is Monterey pine. The Monterey Pine’s (Pinus radiata) leaves are evergreen needles; 4 to 6 inches long and grouped in bundles of 3. They’re slender and shiny green. The bark is thick and grey or dark reddish brown color. It grows pine-cones which are usually 3-5 inches long. Its sapwood color is a pale yellow.


Habitat Restoration on the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge

i Nov 22nd l 2 Comments 3 by Dunes Center

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The Dunes Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are teaming up to improve habitat conditions for the California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii). Several man-made ponds are located throughout the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. These ponds host not only the federally listed species of amphibian,but multitudes of birds, reptiles, mammals, and other threatened and endangered species of plants as well.


Dunes in Bloom: Lilac Verbena

i Oct 30th l Comments Off 3 by Dunes Center

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For the month of November, our chosen plant of the month is Lilac Verbena. Lilac Verbena is an evergreen shrub with deeply divided green leaves and almost nonstop light purple flower heads that float 8 inches above the foliage. (more…)

Habitat Restoration Project at Rancho Guadalupe beach

i Sep 3rd l No Comments 3 by Dunes Center


Ice plant is headstrong. Not only does it spread fast and cover a considerable amount of land surface, it also grows deep into the ground. By no means can ice plant be eradicated. But if one ever attempts to remove an ice plant into a trash bag after digging up most of its root, it’s very likely that he or she will just have to drag the plant instead of lifting it up and putting it into the bag. Because really, ice plant is insanely heavy.


Dunes in Bloom: Sticky Monkey Flower

i Sep 3rd l No Comments 3 by Dunes Center

Sticky Monkey Flower blog 700x300For the month of September, our chosen plant of the month is Sticky Monkey Flower, now known scientifically as Diplacus aurantiacus.  Sticky Monkey Flower is a common shrub that can be found all over California.