Red-tailed hawk. (Santa Barbara Audubon Society files)

Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s next program will be at 7:30 p.m. March 27 in Farrand Hall at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol. It is free and open to all. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Program speaker will be Karl Novak, a civil engineer and deputy director with the Ventura County Watershed Protection District. Novak also served as director of the Raptor Pilot Study.

The Ventura County Watershed Protection District (WPD) maintains 56 dams and some 40 miles of levees which are highly susceptible to rodent burrow damage from ground squirrels.

WPD developed and completed a Raptor Pilot Study to determine whether owls and hawks can be attracted to a flood-control levee, and provide better protection from ground squirrels than traditionally applied rodenticides.

Novak’s talk will cover the findings of the 17-month empirical study, that the damage at an area where raptor perches were installed was significantly less than damage at a similar reach where traditional anticoagulant bait stations were used.

For more information, visit the Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s website Direct questions about the society’s programs to The Santa Barbara Audubon Society, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

— Alexandra Loos for Santa Barbara Audubon Society.