We hope the festival will help you learn more about the area's abundant biodiversity, including birds, wildlife, native wildflowers, and help develop your skills and appreciation for the unique lands, waters and biodiversity of West Marin and Sonoma counties. Our region has one of the highest bird species counts in the United States, thanks to our mild weather, diverse habitats, the Pacific Flyway, ocean currents, and the excellent work by conservationists and local, state and federal community organizations and agencies who protect our mutual resources and public spaces. See our Year of the Bird and/or Bird Checklists & Other Resources web pages to learn more.
Please read the Festival Essentials & Etiquette to help guide your experience. Please let us know if you have questions. See you in April.
Thank you to our 2018 Friends of the Festival!
Your contributions help us reach our $10k match, which supports the
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin's mission
to protect and sustain the unique lands, waters and biodiversity of West Marin.
Participants will check in at their meeting location, and should arrive 10-15 minutes before their scheduled event to fill in their liability forms. Please note on your registration if you are WAIT LISTED. This means you are NOT in the class. If a spot opens you will be contacted. Please do not attend any classes you are not registered for, as volunteers will be checking people in, collecting and handing out forms on site. Most of the events are rain or shine, unless noted.
Participants or the public can also visit us on the festival weekend (on Friday or Saturday April 27th-28th only) at our bird hub, aka the Dance Palace Community and Cultural Center (503 B Street, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956) to receive festival info, register for any open classes, or purchase merchandise. See the schedule at glance, full event descriptions, festival essentials and etiquette, or our bird/wildlife resources webpages to learn more.
If you are attending the Birds, Brews & Bites on Friday with Keith Hansen, or Seas, Suds & Sup on Saturday with Peter Pyle, please arrive at the Dance Palace at 5:00 pm sharp to enjoy food and drink on the lawn before the speaking events begin in the main hall at 6:30 pm. Check out our Friday or Saturday night silent auction items, and place your bids!
Please note, on the weekend of the festival we will be available at the Dance Palace (503 B Street, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956) aka bird hub on Friday and Saturday only. You can also purchase any remaining tickets there, merchandise, or visit our evening program vendor. You can also call us and leave a message at (415) 663.9312 and we will get right back to you.
Can't make it? Call or email us directly. Classes are non-refundable after April 1st, but will be counted as a tax-deduction, or refunded if someone is on the waitlist minus the service fees.
You can order shirts, Birding by Ear cds, and tote bags online during registration. We will have very limited sizes and quantities at the bird hub. If you are registered for an event at the Dance Palace you will pick up your merchandise there, otherwise we will give it to the volunteer assigned to one of your events. You can also request to pick up your merchandise at our offices by calling us at (415) 663.9312.
If your class meets at the Dance Palace Community and Cultural Center, you may have the option to carpool with others, otherwise you should expect to meet at your meeting location (found in your email confirmation) at the scheduled time of your event.
Carpools: Parking at trailheads are often very limited and trails are difficult to find. We are not able to coordinate the carpools, but we can assist with participants grouping together if your meeting location is at the Dance Palace. Carpools are not guaranteed, participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from events.
Festival Headquarters: The Dance Palace Community and Cultural Center, or location for registration, carpool meetups, vendors, festival retail and educational workshops.
Parking: Parking at festival headquarters and in downtown Point Reyes Station is limited. If you can walk, or carpool with other attendees, please do.
Paths and Trails: Please stay on the paths and trails to avoid damaging habitats. Please be respectful of park and local housing, and do not disturb residents.
Clothing: Weather is highly variable at Point Reyes in the spring, and often very windy. Be prepared by bringing layers, good hiking shoes, a sunhat, sunscreen, sunglasses, an extra pair of socks, and wind/or rain gear. You will also want to bring plenty of water, snacks and/or a lunch. Field events are rain or shine unless noted.
Children: Join us for our Youth & Family Programming. Children are also encouraged on many of the field events too. View the full descriptions to view appropriate ages or experience levels. We also understand some kids are more advanced, so if you have a question about registering a younger child for an event, please contact us. Children under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Emergencies: If you are in a life threatening emergency, dial 911.
Food and Beverages: Participants should plan to bring water, snacks, or sack lunches on field trips. There are grocery stores in Point Reyes Station, Inverness and Marshall. Important to note once you pass Inverness headed out to the Seashore, there are no amenities.
Pets: Sorry, no pets allowed on field trips or at festival headquarters, unless an approved companion/assistant dog. Assistant dogs must be properly identified, and any accompanying paperwork brought to share in case of law enforcement questions. If you have brought a pet, you can board her or him at the Point Reyes Animal Hospital (415) 663-1533, just across the bridge at the south end of Point Reyes. Do not leave your pet in your car.
Waste: Please use the proper receptacles to dispose of trash and recyclables. Whenever possible, utilize reusable containers for food and drinks to reduce the impact on the environment.
Birdsong Audio: The use of audio or mechanical devices to playback bird vocalizations to attract birds are not allowed at the festival. Use of these devices will stress and disrupt mating/nesting activities of wildlife. Additionally, Federal Regulations prohibit use in National Parks and California Law prohibits broadcasting vocalizations of endangered species.
Birds First: When observing birds, pay attention to their posture and position. If birds are alarmed, step back and allow the birds to relax. Do not approach nests, roosts or display areas. Please do not feed the birds.
Field Trip Etiquette: 1) When on field events, place your phone on airplane mode or turn it off, 2) Do not wander away from the group, 3) Keep conversations at a low volume so participants may hear the guide and listen for birds, and 4) If you have a medical emergency, notify the guide or volunteer, and call 911.
Reporting Inappropriate Behavior: The festival works to provide one of the best birding and nature festival experiences. If you experience unethical or inappropriate behavior, please let us know at (415) 663.9312 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.