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Nature Area

Contact Nancy Fohner at if you wish to schedule a field trip

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The Current Peterson Nature Area Weather Pages

The Peterson Nature Area host two different  automatic Davis weather stations. One is located on the east side of the Nature Area overlooking the fresh water marsh and the second weather station is located on the west side of the Nature Area on top of the Dan Baer Science building. The weather stations operated 24 hours a day and can be accessed here and at the Peterson Middle School opening page. To access the Peterson Middle School weather sites and past historical data, go to the Peterson Nature Area weather station page.

Annual Ice Cream Social

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Field Trips

Please contact Mrs. Fohner at or 423-2941 if you are interested in scheduling a field trip to the Nature Area.  We have FREE standards-based, grade level field trips.

Nature Area Guides 2013-2014

The first meeting of the Nature Area Guides will be on Aug. 28, 2013 at lunch in the Nature Area.  New guides must have their applications to Mrs. Fohner by Wed., Sept. 4 to receive an invitation to the first meeting and a lunch pass.  Students who were Guides last year do not need to apply, but they need to let Mrs. Fohner know if they need a lunch pass and if they plan to continue as a Nature Area Guide.  Please email Mrs. Fohner at if you have any questions.!

Spring in the Nature Area IMG_2058.JPG IMG_2371.JPG IMG_0545.JPG IMG_2909.JPG IMG_1807.JPG Spring in the Nature Area IMG_2058.JPG IMG_2371.JPG IMG_0545.JPG IMG_2909.JPG IMG_1807.JPG IMG_1635.JPG IMG_1976.JPG IMG_4633.JPG IMG_7568.JPG

Field Trip Signup

Many grade-level, standards-based field trips are available in the Nature Area.  Please contact Nancy Fohner at or call 423-2941 to schedule a field trip.  Field trips run from 12:10-1:30.

Peterson Nature Area live streaming video feeds

Deep water pond camera         This PTZ camera over looks the deep water pond

Black Phoebe nest camera      This stationary camera views the Black Phoebe nest  that was built under the over hang of the one of the server sheds

Hawk tower camera                    This PTZ camera views one of the favorite hawk perching locations on the south side of the Nature Area. login <student> password <student>  PCs will require an Active X applet. Macs need no additional software.Follow your screen instructions. The camera was made by Vivotek located in Sunnyvale California.

Bluebird internal nest camera This camera views the inside of a Bluebird box. We used an IR LED camera for nocturnal observation.

Fresh water marsh camera      This PTZ camera over looks the shallow fresh water marsh on the east side of the nature Area.


The Black Phoebes have resided in the Peterson Nature Area for the past 26 years and with the aid of modern technology we have been able to broadcast the nesting events for the past eight years. The camera we are using is NOT a LED equipped cam. You will not be able to see the nocturnal nest activity.

Go to and watch the four baby Black Phoebes compete for the parents attention when food is brought to the nest.

(Just Added 7 June)  I am sorry to report that all four young baby Black Phoebes were found dead. Chances are one of the adults was eaten by a Sharp Shinned Hawk. There has been a Sharp Shinned Hawk hunting in the facility. Their primary food is other birds. A visiting elementary class saw a Sharp Shinned Hawk pick off a Black Phoebe in mid air. We will keep the camera on to see if the nest is used again.

By Bryan Osborne

Western Bluebird nest on line 24/7 in Peterson nature Area


The Bluebirdspopulated the Peterson Nature Area shortly after various species of woodpeckers created the first nesting cavities in the first dead standing trees.  While broadcasting the comings and goings of the adult Bluebirds from the outside of the cavities, we could NEVER see what was happening on the inside of the nesting cavity. That all changed this last spring when several engineering students developed a camera method that tied into the Nature Area’s local area network. Using a 14-year-old Macintosh computer and a very small LED camera, the students of the Santa Clara Unified School District can now monitor the events from inside a nesting box. Due to the cooler than normal temperatures, the Bluebirdsare just now finishing their nest construction. 

By going to, observers can monitor the inside of the Bluebird nest. As of 5 June, there are still no eggs in the nest. The birds do come into the nest to drop off nest material. We will keep the camera operational until the end of July.

By Bryan Osborne