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Friday, April 28th Full Day Events

Chaparral Follies on Pine Mountain

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 6:30 am - 11:30 am | Full Day
Guide: Mark Forney
Difficulty/Length: Moderate to strenuous, 4-6 mile hike
Experience/Ages: All; Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join Marin birder Mark Forney for a half-day hike through the chaparral ecosystem of Pine Mountain, east of Kent Lake. This will be a fast-paced hike along the Pine Mountain fire road, focusing on finding birds in chaparral and scrub habitats. If time allows, the group will visit the Sargent cypress forest on Pine Mountain Truck Road. Mark will also show attendees how to use eBird to track your sightings. Likely birds to be found in this habitat include olive-sided flycatcher, ash-throated flycatcher, chestnut-backed chickadee, black-throated gray warbler, rufous-crowned sparrow, spotted towhee, and purple finch. If we are lucky, we may get bald eagle and purple martin flyovers. This area is also potential habitat for California thrasher, which has not been observed for several years in Marin County. 

Event Location: Pine Mountain, Fairfax, CA

Target Species or Information: Olive-sided flycatcher, ash-throated flycatcher, chestnut-backed chickadee, black-throated gray warbler, rufous-crowned sparrow, spotted towhee, and purple finch. If we are lucky, bald eagle and purple martin flyovers.


Birds of Audubon's Cypress Grove and Tomales Bay 

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:00 am – 1:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: John P. Kelly, Audubon Canyon Ranch
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-miles
Experience/Ages: All
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide and Director of Conservation Science, John Kelly of Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Cypress Grove Research Center, for a stellar birding excursion and field discussion related to the identification, conservation and ecology of Tomales Bay birds. Participants will meet at the research center along Tomales Bay, where John will help spot and identify water and shorebirds. Following this session, participants will carpool to Tom’s Point, a remote preserve at the northern end of Tomales Bay.

Event Location: Audubon Canyon Ranch Cypress Grove Research Center

Target bird or species information: Water and shorebirds.


Birdsong Extravaganza

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:00 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Carolyn Longstreth
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 3.5 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All
Ticket Price: $60 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Carolyn Longstreth for a leisurely field outing exploring West Marin’s diverse habitats with a focus on learning how to listen to and identify a variety of bird songs. Carolyn will point out specific features of each song to help increase participants recognition and recall. The group will carpool from site to site, covering forests, wetlands, grasslands, esteros, and possibly coastal areas depending on time. For best results, participants can purchase the instructional 2-CD set, Birding by Ear at www.eacmarin.org and listen in advance of the class, but it is not necessary to enjoy the field class. 

Event Location: Various locations around West Marin with a primary focus on Point Reyes Station and Point Reyes National Seashore.

Target species: Resident and breeding birds of forest, chaparral, wetlands and riparian areas, as well as shorebirds and raptors.


Habitat Potential: Birding Strategy, Tactics & Placement

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:00 am – 4:00 pm  | Full Day
Guide: Josiah Clark
Difficulty: Easy, 2 mile
Experience Levels/Ages: Experienced
Ticket Price: $80 | Limited to 15 Participants

Join guide Josiah Clark to learn about birding strategy, tactics and placement. When it comes to making every moment count in birding, how one looks is at least as important as where one looks.  Drawing on strategies developed for birding Big Days and Christmas Bird Counts, this field trip aims to reveal tactics that will help birders improve their methods of coverage and ultimately find more species.  Methods and topics will include: Alternating search patterns, scanning techniques, preparing for target species, counting/estimating bird numbers, managing lists, the anatomy of a flock, nest searching and habitat specific search tactics. Habitat types and resources will be a major theme. Participants will learn to match signature local plant communities and landscape compositions with their associated bird guilds. As we find birds in their preferred habitats, we will also take time to observe and learn about adaptations that make certain bird species especially well-suited to given plant communities and environmental conditions. This field trip will take note of dozens of plant species, focusing on important resources that provide for local birds. Josiah will share conservation related information on the limiting factors of vulnerable and declining groups including cup-nesting songbirds, precocial young and birds of open habitats. This class will not only make you a better birder, but also a better-educated conservation advocate. Information shared here may be especially useful to those in the fields of habitat restoration, environmental planning, bird monitoring and wildlife consulting.

Event locations: Giacomini Wetlands and Bear Valley, Point Reyes National Seashore;  Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Golden Gate Recreation Area.

Target bird or species information: A wide variety of waterfowl, shorebirds and passerines.


Birding Las Gallinas Ponds and Hamilton Wetlands

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:30 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guides: Jim White and Bob Atwood
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 – 4 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $55 | Limited to 15 Participants

Join co-guides Jim White and Bob Atwood for a birding adventure at the Las Gallinas Ponds in San Rafael and Hamilton Wetlands in Novato. Our first stop will be to the Las Gallinas reclamation ponds, which host a wide variety of wading, shore, and waterbirds. The area has become a favorite destination for local birders given the number of common and more rare species sighted. Expect to see green heron, common gallinule, and cinnamon teal on a this leisurely 2-mile walk out to the salt marsh. In addition to recording over 50 species of birds here, mammal diversity is high, where river otters, black-tailed deer, coyote and black-tailed jackrabbits hare often sighted. After lunch, we will head over to the newly restored Hamilton Wetlands in Novato in search of birds. This is one of the largest restored wetlands in the North Bay, and has quickly become one of the best sites to see large numbers of shorebirds. Your guides will share the story of how this area was transformed from a busy air force runway to a functioning salt marsh that fosters tremendous avian and sea life. In late April many shorebirds will be preparing for their trip to arctic breeding grounds. In addition to black-necked Stilts, marbled godwits and long-billed curlew the number of avocets here can be truly astounding.  This is also the a great location and time to identify short-billed from long-billed dowitchers. The adjacent oak woodlands here support a diverse range of warblers, flycatchers and other land birds.

Event locations:  Las Gallinas Ponds, San Rafael and Hamilton Wetlands, Novato.

Target bird or species information: Water and shorebirds, birds of chaparral and grasslands.


Spring Water and Shorebirds of Bodega Bay

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:30 am – 3:30 pm | Full Day
Guide: Lisa Hug
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Ticket Price: $70 | Limited to 15 Participants

Join guide Lisa Hug to bird the shoreline of Bodega Bay. This area is a premier birding site in California, featuring an abundance of shorebirds, waterfowl and migrant land birds. Late April is the best time of year to see loons and grebes in their spectacular breeding plumage. We will spend the day birding such renowned locations as Doran Beach, Bodega Harbor, Porto Bodega, Spud Point Marina and the Bodega Head for birds of all kinds, and emphasis on water and shorebirds.

Event location: Various locations in Bodega Bay including Bodega Harbor, Porto Bodega, Spud Point Marina, Bodega Head, and possibly Doran Park.

Target bird or species information: All birds; focused on water and shorebirds.


Friday, April 28th Morning Events

Delving Into The Mysteries of Sparrow Identification and Natural History

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 7:30 am - 12:00 pm | Morning
Guide: David Jaffe
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-3 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide David Jaffe to explore the fascinating world of sparrows. This seminar is designed for folks interested in exploring the veil of secrecy shrouding LBB’s (little brown birds) and will be generally geared towards beginner delvers, although all are welcome. We will spend about an hour or so indoors learning some natural history of sparrows, key identification features to help us differentiate these LBB’s in the field, and how not to confuse them with their look-alikes. Following the presentation will carpool to various locations to discover birds in the field.

Event Location: Various locations around Point Reyes National Seashore

Target species: Resident and migrating sparrows


Bahia Wetlands to Rush Creek

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 7:30 am – 12:00 pm | Morning
Guide: Bob Power
Difficulty/Length: Leisure
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Bob Power for an invigorating walk along the Bahia Wetland Trail at Rush Creek in Novato. Rush Creek is a 522 acre preserve adjacent to the wetlands, where thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl congregate each fall and winter. Outside of the Point Reyes Peninsula, this is one of the best birding locations in the North Bay with 196 regularly occurring species. Black Oak woodlands give way to oak savannah and marsh habitats harboring the endangered Ridgway’s rail, lingering ducks, shorebirds, raptors, migrants and more. This trip involves carpooling and a shuttle between Rush Creek and Bahia.

Event Location: Novato, CA

Target species: All species, with focus on water and shorebirds.


Birds of Olompali State Historic Park –
Spring Migration in an Oak Savanna Habitat

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Morning)
Guide: Rich Cimino, Yellow-billed Tours
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 8+
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants
Class is SOLD OUT - you can still register to be put on the wait list.
When registering, just click the box and it will add you to the wait list. We will contact you if a spot opens up. 

Join birder and guide Rich Cimino to discover Olompali State Historic Park’s diverse avian residents. The name "olompali" comes from the Miwok language and may be translated as "southern village" or "southern people." The park overlooks the Petaluma River and San Pablo Bay from the east-facing slopes of 1,558 foot Mount Burdell. We’ll look for eagles, buteos, accipiter’s, hooded oriole, woodpeckers, empidonax flycatchers, kingbirds, warblers, and any migrating species. Sharpen your bird identification skills, gain a deeper appreciation for our local ecology and have a lot of fun along the way. Families are welcome!

Event Location: Novato, CA

Target species: All species with a focus on early migrants including Western kingbird, Pacific slope flycatcher, warbling vireo, Wilson’s warbler, black throated gray warbler, and oriole.


Birding Laguna de la Santa Rosa

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:00 am - 12:00 pm  | Morning
Guide: Scott Carey
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 8+
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Scott Carey to discover the Laguna de la Santa Rosa, an under-appreciated and biologically diverse landscape of Sonoma County’s largest freshwater wetland near Sebastopol. Internationally recognized for its ecological importance, the Laguna’s marshes, vernal pools, riparian woodland and valley oak savannah are rich habitat for wildlife and plants, including the special-status California tiger salamander, Sebastopol meadowfoam and Lobb’s aquatic buttercup.

The area's varied habitats include riparian, oak woodland, grassland and wetland.  We will walk a couple of miles of the preserve trails that provide good birding as well as dramatic views of Mount St. Helena to the northeast.  Resident birds found here include Bewick's wren, red-winged blackbird, bushtit, lesser goldfinch, white-tailed kite, red-shouldered hawk and many others. Nesting species often seen include Bullock's oriole, black-headed grosbeak, western kingbird, common yellowthroat, orange-crowned warbler and five species of swallow. During wet years the pastures and small ponds attract mallard, common merganser, sora, cattle egret, great egret, black-crowned night heron, and migratory shorebirds such as marbled godwit, long-billed curlew and greater yellowlegs.

Event Location: Sebastopol, CA

Target species: Resident and nesting birds listed above.


Whales, Seals and Seabirds at the Point Reyes Headlands

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | Morning
Guide: Sarah Allen, National Park Service
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 8+
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide and author, Dr. Sarah Allen, Ocean and Coastal Resources Program Lead for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region, for a morning exploring marine life on the Point Reyes Headlands. The headlands are home to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, and the Chimney Rock, Elephant Seal and California Sea Lion overlooks. Jutting out nearly 20-miles to the open ocean, the headlands are an ideal location for spotting migrating Pacific gray whales, Northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, and thousands of nesting seabirds. At this time of year, gray whale mothers may be seen close to the cliffs as they escort their newborn young from southern California and Mexico back to their feeding grounds in Alaska. We can expect to see a variety of seas birds including pelicans, cormorants, pigeon guillemots and common murres on the rocky cliffs, and if we are lucky the peregrine falcon, or a great-horned owl nesting in the cliffs.  The area also provides views of the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, or marine protected areas where thousands of birds and fish, as well as whales, sharks, seals, and other marine life feed from the cold, nutrient-rich waters.

Event location: Point Reyes Headlands

Target bird or species information: Pacific gray whales, Northern Elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, variety of seas birds including pelicans, cormorants, pigeon guillemots and common murres. If we are lucky the peregrine falcon, or a great-horned owl nesting in the cliffs


Mist Netting and Bird Banding

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am | Morning
Guide: Lishka Arata, Point Blue Conservation Science
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1 mile
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 8+ 
Ticket Price: $20 | Limited to 15 participants

Come learn about birds as indicators of nature's health, observe science in action, and see songbirds up close!  Join Point Blue Conservation Science’s Conservation Educator, Lishka Arata for a morning of bird banding and mist-netting along the Muddy Hollow trail at Point Reyes National Seashore. We will get up close and personal with the many resident and migratory songbirds captured in mist nests, and while collecting measurements that provide long-term data that contributes to science and conservation. Don't forget to wear your rubber boots! They don't call it Muddy Hollow for nothing.

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: Resident and migrant birds, primarily songbirds.


Tides, Breeze, Birds: Deep Listening

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 9:00 am – 11:30 am | Morning
Guide: Claire Peaslee
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $30 | Limited to 15 participants

Join naturalist and writer Claire Peaslee along the Estero Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore for a morning of deep attunement to nature. What do we learn when our senses open not only to visual information but also to sounds and rhythms? At one of the purest sound environments in the Seashore (especially early on a weekday morning), humans can shed the buzz and rumble of towns and traffic. Starting at the trailhead, Claire will guide participants into conscious connection with the landscape. Breezes, stillness, the distant rumble of surf, nearby bird calls and songs, our own breath: all are components of a living symphony. This gentle walk through a mosaic of grassland, forest, and estuary is an invitation to connect with wildlife while cultivating individual insights. Claire will support deepening sensory immersion and also learning about the wealth of bird life encountered. Marvelous points of contact with the living world are the footbridge across a tidal channel and the overlook above the expanse of newly restored Drakes Estero.

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: Birds and wildlife within Point Reyes National Seashore


How to Draw Birds: The Art & Science of Field Journaling

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm | Morning
Guide: John Muir Laws
Difficulty/Length: Classroom-based with field outing
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels and ages
Ticket Price: $60 | Limited to 30 participants

Join wildlife biologist, artist and Research Associate of the California Academy of Sciences, John Muir Laws to learn the basics of how to quickly and accurately draw birds in the field and from photo reference. Laws teaches the tools to help people develop as naturalists and stewards including, ways to improve your observation, memory, scientific illustration, and field sketching all while having fun and falling more deeply in love with the world.  This class will take your field observation to a whole new level, by learning to look at birds anatomy, shape and feather type. Participants will learn how to master the one-minute gesture sketch, tricks on how to draw shorebirds, waterfowl and songbirds,  get to practice these skills in the field. No previous drawing experience is necessary. Bring a sketchpad and pencil.

Event location: Point Reyes Station and surrounding areas


Friday, April 28th Afternoon Events

Northern Spotted Owls in Marin

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Afternoon
Guide: Taylor Ellis, National Park Service
Difficulty/Length: Classroom-based
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $20 | Limited to 15 participants

Join National Park Service wildlife technician, Taylor Ellis of Point Reyes National Seashore to learn about the life history and cycle of the federally listed Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) in Marin County. Because of its role as an indicator species for forest ecosystems, this owl has become one of the best-studied owls in the world. It has been listed as a threatened species since 1990, and populations continue to decline range-wide as a result of habitat loss. Competition with other species such as the larger, more aggressive Barred Owl (Strix varia) has become the other greatest threat to the species, but Sudden Oak Death and urbanization are also factors. In this special classroom presentation, Taylor will discuss how the National Park Service, including Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreational Area, and Muir Woods National Monument are monitoring this special species in Marin, their current research and status, and how to report any sightings. Due to the sensitive nature of this species, there will be no field walk.

Event location: Point Reyes Station, CA

Target bird or species information: Indoor workshop focused on the Northern Spotted Owl


Migratory Waterbirds and Rails of Corte Madera Marsh

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Afternoon
Guides: Roger Harris and Meryl Sundove
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1 mile
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 8+
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Join certified Wildlife Biologist Roger Harris and environmental educator Meryl Sundove at the Corte Madera Marsh. Starting at the Marin Audubon Society property, we will walk to the edge of San Francisco Bay along San Clemente Creek as we watch waves of sandpipers and other waterbirds fly from the bay mudflats to the high tide refuge of the marsh. Numbers of willet, dunlin, long-billed curlew and other shorebirds can be especially impressive here. Then after the tide has risen further, we will walk to a tidal channel to listen for and perhaps see the endangered Ridgway’s rail, which is common in this marsh.  The diversity of raptors and ducks is quite high here and a river otter may enhance our visit as well. In addition to observing the behavior of these species, we will also address marsh processes, wetland vegetation, and coastal ecology. No restroom facilities are available at the marsh.

Event Location: Corte Madera, CA

Target bird or species information: Shorebirds; ducks; Ridgeway's rail; raptors


A Walk in the Woods: Forest and Tree Ecology

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Afternoon
Guide: Tom Gaman
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1 mile
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Join Inverness forester Tom Gaman as he leads a tour of the major forests of Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Together we will carpool to various locations to learn more about the fascinating ecology of West Marin forests, including how to identify the trees, their life cycle and biology, and threats to their well being, including Sudden Oak Death, pitch canker, and climate change.  We will walk some trails to really develop a feel for the land. Tom will also discuss the role of fire in shaping the landscape, and how trees are on the move in response to fire and other factors.  Featured forest types include: the redwood, Bishop pine, Douglas-fir, and mixed evergreen forests, and oak woodlands.

Location: Various locations throughout Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Target species information: Forests, trees and fire.


On the Edge – Geology of Point Reyes from Mount Vision

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Afternoon
Guide: John Karachewski
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1 mile
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $45 | Limited to 15 participants

Geologically, Point Reyes National Seashore is a park on the move. Come discover life on the edge with geologist, John Karachewski, as he discusses the geological significance of the area atop Mount Vision in Point Reyes National Seashore. Enjoy a scenic and educational overview of the Pacific and North American Plates, as well as the evolution of the San Andreas Fault, with views of Drakes Estero, the Great Beach and Tomales Bay. In addition, we will also learn about climate change, glacial cycles, and worldwide sea-level changes in relation to dynamic fault lines and moving landscapes. This easy trip will include stops along Mount Vision Road and short walks to overlooks. No prior experience needed.

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target species information: Geology of Point Reyes


Spring Migration at Limantour Beach and Estero

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm | Afternoon
Guide: David Wimpfheimer
Difficulty/Length: Easy-Moderate, 3-mile
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $45 | Limited to 15 participants
Class is SOLD OUT - you can still register to be put on the wait list.
When registering, just click the box and it will add you to the wait list. We will contact you if a spot opens up. 

Join birder and EAC board member, David Wimpfheimer to explore spring bird migration at Limantour Beach and Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore. This three mile-walk through dunes, muddy marsh edges, and along the beach will focus on the identification and behavior of shorebirds, ducks, loons, grebes, and raptors. Limantour’s dynamic estuary is a critical feeding area for a large variety of waterbirds including dunlin, black-bellied plover, and western and least sandpipers. Many of these waders will be in breeding plumage. Viewing Drakes Bay from the beach affords views of three species of loon, alcids, brant, scoters and possibly red-necked grebe.

Event location: Limantour Beach and Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: Shorebirds; ducks; loons; grebes; raptors.


Friday, April 28th Evening Events

Brews & Bites with Keynote Speaker Paul Bannick

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Evening Speaker: Paul Bannick
Location: Dance Palace Community and Cultural Center, Point Reyes Station, CA
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 21+
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 100 participants

Come unwind from your birding adventures on Friday evening at our Brews & Bites event with keynote speaker, author and award-winning photographer Paul Bannick.  Enjoy beer, wine, and small bites reception with festive music.  Following the reception, we will enjoy a lively keynote presentation by Paul based on his new book, Owls: A Year in the Life of the North American Owl. 

This book integrates more than 200 new intimate and dramatic images, up-to-date science about owls and first-hand experience based upon tens of thousands of hours spent with owls on their territories in the wild. The book covers how owls move through each stage of their life including courtship, mating, and nesting in spring; feeding of young and fledging in summer; dispersal and gaining independence in fall; and finally, winter’s migrations and competitions for food. The book shows how owls use the unique resources available to them in each habitat to overcome the challenges of each season. All 19 species found in Canada and the United States are featured in the photos and narrative throughout the book, with a special focus on the Northern Pygmy-Owl, Great Gray Owl, Burrowing Owl and Snowy Owl. Signed copies of the book will be for sale.

Sponsors: Irons Springs Pub & Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company


Owls of Point Reyes

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm | Evening
Guide: Joe Mueller
Difficulty/Length: Easy-Moderate, 3-mile Experience
Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants
Class is SOLD OUT - you can still register to be put on the wait list.
When registering, just click the box and it will add you to the wait list. We will contact you if a spot opens up. 

Join professor Joe Mueller to discover the world of owls in Marin County. This class will focus on an introduction to the natural history, ecology, and biology of owls common to Point Reyes National Seashore, including Northern spotted, greAt-horned, saw-whet, burrowing and barn owls. After the talk, join Joe on a night walk through several owl habitats on the Point Reyes peninsula.  Please bring a flashlight! Although protective regulations prohibit the playing of owl calls during the breeding season, with any luck participants will hear several species of owls during this evening walk.

Event location: Point Reyes Station, CA and field excursion.

Target bird or species information: Northern spotted owl, great-horned owl, saw-whet owl


Saturday, April 29th Full Day

Birds of the Point Reyes Outer Point

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 7:00 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Dan Singer
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1-2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $70 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder Dan Singer to explore Point Reyes National Seashore’s outer point including Drakes Beach, the Point Reyes Lighthouse, and some ranch sites. Dan will help identify land, sea and shorebirds, their status and distribution along the point. We'll be looking for migrant flycatchers, warblers and other passerines as well as focusing on those species that breed there. As the regional editor of eBird he will also share how you can use technology to record your findings. 

Event location: Various locations on Point Reyes National Seashore’s outer point, including Drakes Beach, Point Reyes Lighthouse, and ranch sites

Target birds: Migrant landbirds, shorebirds, seabirds


Birds and Microhabitats of Inner Marin

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 7:00 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Dave MacKenzie
Difficulty/Length: Easy to moderate, 2-3 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $70 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Dave MacKenzie for a day exploring birds by habitat. We will carpool and do some walking to explore the open slopes of Big Rock Ridge, the waters and open grasslands surrounding Nicasio Reservoir, and the deep redwood forest leading into the extraordinary bay-oak woodland of Loma Alta. This trip will focus on species typical of each habitat with a particular emphasis on birding by ear, breeding behaviors, and the specialty birds of Big Rock Ridge. Mostly gentle walking with moderate uphill walking at Big Rock Ridge, which offers a spectacular 360-degree views of the Bay Area and beyond. 

Event location: Various sites including Loma Alta, Roy's Redwoods, and Nicasio Reservoir. 

Target bird or species information: Lazuli bunting, grasshopper sparrow, Pacific wren and yellow warbler
 


Birds and Botany of Carson Ridge and Falls

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 7:00 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Todd Plummer
Difficulty/Length: Moderate, 4-6 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $70 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Todd Plummer for a day of exploring birds and botany around Carson Ridge and Falls. The group will hike along Carson Ridge on the Pine Mountain Road trail, and make our way down to Little Carson Falls. The serpentine landscape and dwarf forests provide great views into chaparral and Douglas fir canyons. Birding the alien green soil, we will look for buntings, possible California thrasher, rufous-crowned sparrows, and bald eagles from Kent Lake. The flower bloom can be spectacular with rarities the norm. We will descend several hundred feet into Carson Canyon to cool our faces in the mists of Little Carson Falls, home to the rare Foothill yellow-legged frog. Time allowing, we can extend our hike along another spur, or drive a little further to check out some lake views.  

Event location: Pine Mountain, Fairfax, CA

Target bird or species information: Lazuli bunting, grasshopper sparrow, Pacific wren and yellow warbler


Bird and Wildlife Tracking at Limantour Beach and Estero

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 7:30 am to 12:30 pm | Full Day
Guide: Richard Vacha
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-3 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join certified tracker and Point Reyes Tracking School founder Richard Vacha for a morning of bird tracking at Limantour Beach and Estero. Yes, birds do leave tracks! And a lot more signs of their lives. We will see how simple awareness skills can reveal the hidden magic that lies just under the surface of things. First a little study of bird feet and how their foot morphologies reflect their niche in the environment. Then we’ll go for a tracker’s wander through the multiple habitats that Limantour provides and see what story nature has to tell us.  

Event location: Near Limantour Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

Target bird or species information: Any bird, mammal, or insect that leaves tracks!


Birding to a Fault: The Pacific Plate

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 7:30 am – 2:30 pm | Full Day
Guide: Peter Pyle, Institute for Bird Populations
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: Intermediate, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $70 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder extraordinaire Peter Pyle for a friendly birding competition on the Pacific Plate. Peter will lead this fast paced field outing to help identify and count as many birds on the tectonic plate, that runs along the San Andreas Fault to the west. The team will cover the west side of Bolinas Lagoon, Duxbury Reef and the Pine Gulch Creek area. Expect to see about 80 species of water, forest, and grasslands birds. At 1:30 pm the outing will end at Five Brooks for a compilation meeting and lunch with the competing Continental Plate team lead by Keith Hansen, plus some birding at Five Brooks. While everyone from beginners to experts are welcome, this will be a day where we will move quickly and concentrate primarily on seeing as many species as possible. 

Event location: West side of Pacific Plate; Bolinas Lagoon, Duxbury Reef, Pine Gulch Creek delta and Five Brooks/Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Target bird species:  All birds


Birding to a Fault: The Continental Plate

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 7:30 am – 2:30 pm | Full Day
Guide: Keith Hansen
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: Intermediate, Ages 18+ 
Ticket Price: $70 | Limited to 15 participants
Class is SOLD OUT - you can still register to be put on the wait list.
When registering, just click the box and it will add you to the wait list. We will contact you if a spot opens up. 



Join internationally known birder and bird illustrator, Keith Hansen for a friendly tectonic birding competition on the Continental Plate. Keith will lead this fast paced field outing to help identify and count as many birds on the tectonic plate, that runs along the San Andreas Fault to the east.  The team will cover the east side of the San Andreas Fault of Stinson Beach and its environs and then work north along Bolinas Lagoon. We hope to see many species of water, forest, and grasslands birds. At 1:30 pm, the outing will end at Five Brooks for a compilation meeting and lunch with the Pacific Plate team lead by Peter Pyle, plus some birding at Five Brooks. While everyone from beginners to experts are welcome, this will be a day where we will move quickly and concentrate primarily on seeing as many species as possible. 

Event location: East-side of Continental Plate; Cliffs above Stinson Beach, Stinson Gulch, Bolinas Lagoon, Five Brooks, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Target bird species: All birds


Birding Forests and Faultlines

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 7:30 am- 2:30 pm | Full Day
Guide: Bob Power
Difficulty/Length: Easy to strenuous, 6-8 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: Intermediate, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Bob Power to discover birds in the forest and oak woodlands around Point Reyes National Seashore’s Bear Valley Visitor Center. We’ll start our exploration looking at the massive Douglas fir trees, home to woodpecker granaries, at the picnic area, and then move onto the Earthquake trail (.6 miles) to look for songbirds in the oak woodlands. Afterwards, we will climb to the highest peak along the Horse trail to Mount Wittenberg trail and back down to the parking area. We should see lots of woodpeckers, some raptors, and any migrating or resident songbirds. 

Event Location: Bear Valley, Horse and Mount Wittenberg Trails, Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Target species: Forest and woodland species


Birds & Habitats of Point Reyes

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:00 am - 1:00 pm | Full Day
Guides: Julie Zickefoose and Jules Evens
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2+ miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $150 | Limited to 15 participants

Point Reyes National Seashore and the surrounding area easily claims the prize for the greatest avian diversity in any U.S. national park with 490 species, or 54% of all North American bird species recorded within the park. The species total here, in fact, is larger than the species total in each of forty of the United States. Some of the factors responsible for attracting this amazing diversity are Point Reyes' proximity to the Pacific Flyway along the Pacific Ocean, its diverse habitats, and the shape of the peninsula which acts as a geographic magnet. Join our keynote speaker Julie Zickefoose, and naturalist Jules Evens for a walk to explore birds and habitats of the area. We will visit wetlands, forests, grasslands and coastal habitats to identify and count as many birds as possible.  

Event Location: Grasslands, woodlands, and coastal habitats of Point Reyes National Seashore

Target species: Birds of grasslands, woodlands, and coastal areas.


Limantour Estero: Birds of Beach, Bay, and Beyond

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:00 am - 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Dave Shuford, Point Blue Conservation Science
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: Intermediate, Ages 14+
Ticket Price: $65 | Limited to 15 participants

Join Dave Shuford of Point Blue Conservation Science for a day of birdwatching at Point Reyes National Seashore’s Limantour Beach and Estero. Dave will share his extensive knowledge of the varied birdlife of the Estero’s tidal flats, salt marsh, and fringing dunes, beach, coastal scrub, and freshwater ponds. In addition, we’ll scope the nearshore zone for waterbirds foraging just beyond the breakers and any that may be passing well offshore. Finally, we’ll discuss habitat changes that have occurred over the years and changes in birdlife from these or other factors. 

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: Migrant shorebirds; waterfowl (including black brant); loons; grebes; gulls; terns; and marsh- and scrub-loving land birds and raptors.


Birding By Bike: Point Reyes Station to Coast Trail

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:00 am – 3:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Josiah Clark
Difficulty/Length: Moderate-Strenuous, 12 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: Intermediate, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $60 | Limited to 10 participants

There are few places in Marin with a richer avifauna than the terrain around Point Reyes Station. We can make great head way in our search for the wild by using our own two legs and a bike. Biking is quiet, and we will take the opportunity to bird by ear and take in new vocalizations along the way. All along the way we will be on the lookout for other wildlife including butterflies, mammals and reptiles. There are great opportunities to acknowledge and recognize the gradual transition of native plant communities as can best be done by bicycle. Right in town we will visit the Giacomini Wetlands, then head off to the Olema Marsh, crossing over to Limantour Road, and onward to the Bear Valley trail. As we coast down Bear Valley Trail, we will wind our way through the enchanted, fern laden old growth Douglas Fir forests, to Glen Trail, where we will lock up bikes and finish the last mile on foot. From Coast Trail, we will search out and add the marine bird guilds to our list, in our quest to see as many species as possible. Once back to our bikes, we will make the ride back to Point Reyes Station as a group. You must have your own bike or rent one in Marin. There are no bike rentals in Point Reyes Station. 

Event location: Point Reyes Station, Giacomini Wetlands, Olema Marsh, Bear Valley Trail and Coast Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird species: Eurasian wigeon, nesting and migratory songbird, migrant loons, grebes and other seabirds.


Birds of Lower Tomales Bay: A Kayaking Adventure

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: David Wimpfheimer and Blue Waters Kayaking
Difficulty/Length: All Levels
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $100 | Limited to 15 participants

Tomales Bay is one of the most productive and dramatically beautiful estuaries in California. In the winter over 25,000 ducks, loons, grebes and other waterbirds feed in its rich waters.  Spring is an excellent time to see these and other species that are migrating along the coast.  Marbled godwits, willets and other shorebirds feed while red-throated Loon, horned grebe, brant and scoters linger.  Rather than just viewing these birds from the shore, on this special trip we travel by stable, double kayaks to get close views of dozens of cormorants breed on Hog Island, osprey nesting sites along the bay, and maybe even a chance to see a bald eagle. In addition to the rich birdlife, we often see tule elk, river otter, bat rays and leopard sharks.  It is always a treat to paddle around the wild, lower part of the bay starting from Nick’s Cove, exploring the mouth of Walker Creek and continuing along the eastern shoreline of Point Reyes National Seashore.  No previous kayaking experience is necessary to join us for this unique way to enjoy the fantastic wildlife of Tomales Bay.  Fee includes kayak rental, paddling jackets and any other equipment.  Blue Waters Kayaking, the oldest kayaking outfitter in Point Reyes, is the co-sponsor of this field trip. This trip is weather dependent.   

Event location: Tomales Bay

Target bird or species information: Species listed above


Saturday, April 29th Morning Events

River Otter Ramble at Abbotts Lagoon
Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:00 am – 11:00 am | Morning
Guide: Megan Isadore
Difficulty/Length: All Levels, 2-3 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Join award-winning conservationist and naturalist Megan Isadore for a relaxed 2-3 hour hike on the Abbotts Lagoon trail, seeking one of our more elusive wildlife neighbors, the river otter. River otters have made a remarkable recovery after being extirpated from the San Francisco Bay Area by mid-20th-century. Megan will guide the group in looking for signs of otters, and discuss how these charismatic predators’ return offers hope in restoration and conservation. Abbotts Lagoon is home to one of Point Reyes National Seashore’s most robust and often-seen otter families, and while we can’t guarantee otters, we will certainly see other fascinating wild denizens. Coyotes and bobcats, deer and raptors are common sights, and the ever-vigilant quail will likely stand guard along our path. The walk out to the dunes is gentle and flat. 

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: River otters, birds and other wildlife.


Kingbirds and Sparrows: Birding STRAW Ranches in Tomales

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | Morning
Guides: Jenni Benson and Heather Cameron
Difficulty/Length: All Levels, 2-3 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+ |
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 15 participants

Join Jenni Benson and Heather Cameron for a unique opportunity to bird riparian, woodland and grassland habitats on private ranch lands typically not open to the public. These ranches are perfect examples of how community based restoration can make a difference for wildlife. Participants will learn about Point Blue Conservation Science’s STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed) project that connects students to their watersheds through hands-on restoration, and empowers the community. We will get a chance to see a  variety of swallows, grassland sparrows, as well as herons, egrets, and occasional waterfowl. Highlights may include Western kingbird, Bullock’s oriole, and less common species such as lazuli bunting, horned lark and loggerhead shrike. 

Event Locations: Private ranches in Tomales and western Petaluma restored by STRAW

Target bird or species information: Species listed above.  


Rodeo Lagoon: Birds, Plants, and Plankton

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:30 am – 11:30 am (Morning)
Guide: Juan Carlos Solis
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-3 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Juan Carlos Solis for hike around Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Rodeo Lagoon to discover birds, plants and plankton. We will explore the birds that call this place home along with the ecosystem that surrounds them. We'll talk about both resident and migratory birds, and how the various ecosystems around the lagoon support various bird assemblages throughout the year. We'll also explore the lagoon's ecosystem including both it's macroinvertebrate and planktonic community using field microscopes. 

Event location: Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Seashore, CA

Target bird or species information: Coastal bird species, plus macroinvertebrates and planktonic communities.


Coast Miwok Enthobotany of Tomales State Park

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:30 am – 11:30 am (Morning)
Guide: Wendy Dreskin
Difficulty/Length: Easy-Moderate, 2-3 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Join award-winning naturalist Wendy Dreskin to learn about Point Reyes’ first inhabitants, the Coast Miwoks. There were over 100 Coast Miwok village sites at Point Reyes, 39 between Inverness Park and the Tomales Bluffs. Wendy will help us explore and discover how this bountiful land provided for the Miwoks for thousands of years and how life on the peninsula was intricately woven into the changing seasons. On this hike, Wendy will focus on the plants the Miwoks and other Native American tribes utilized for food, medicine, basketry, dye, cordage, musical instruments, and more. She will also point out birds, butterflies, and other interesting plants and animals as we hike through Tomales State Park nestled along the shores of Tomales Bay.  

Event location: Tomales Bay State Park

Target bird or species information: All species, focusing on enthobotany of the Coast Miwok.


Beginning Birding on Woodpecker Trail

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm (Morning)
Guide: Rich Cimino
Difficulty/Length: Easy-Moderate, 1.5 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Calling our new or novice birders! Join guide Rich Cimino, for a beginning bird class along the Woodpecker Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore’s Bear Valley. We will start our trip with an introduction to birds, and a tutorial on using your field guide and binoculars. As we traverse the Woodpecker Trail, roughly a one-mile loop,, we’ll learn species identification, bird behavior, and how to find and explain bird locations to other birders.  This trail winds through varied habitats of open meadow and Douglas fir forest displaying several species of woodpecker, bluebirds, sparrows and other birds.  We’ll also explore a riparian creek where we should see Wilson’s warbler, Pacific-slope and other flycatchers. Mild grades and detailed interpretive signs make this an ideal choice for families and newcomers to the birding. Visitors will enjoy useful insights into this widespread forest community and a good chance to see other wildlife including rabbits, deer, skunk, raccoons, and maybe, even a coyote. 

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target species: Resident and migrant song birds, raptors, woodpecker, bluebirds, and sparrows.


Bird Walking: Olema Marsh to Bear Valley

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:30 am to 1:00 pm | Morning
Guide: Harry Fuller
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 3-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $60 | Limited to 15 participants

This classic Point Reyes walk begins at Olema Marsh, one of the largest freshwater marshes in Marin County and a part of Point Reyes National Seashore.  This is a great habitat for species such as green heron, cinnamon teal, Virginia and sora rails. If we’re lucky a bittern will appear. Our walk will including a leisurely walk through a variety of open grassland, riparian and wooded habitats, including Lagunitas Creek, White House Pool, the Limantour Road, the and Kule Loklo (a replica Coast Miwok village).  Expect to see or hear about fifty species on this wonderfully diverse route including Pacific-slope flycatcher, black-headed grosbeak and several warblers. 

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target Birds: Green heron, cinnamon teal, red-shouldered hawk, Pacific slope flycatcher, wrentit, sora, barn owl, Allen's hummingbird, Swainson's thrush, Western bluebird, black-headed grosbeak, Wilson's and orange-crowned warblers.


Birding Drakes Estero

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:30 am – 1:00 pm (Morning)
Guide: Alan Hopkins
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 3-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder Alan Hopkins for a day exploring birds and wildlife at Drakes Estero. Long considered the ecological heart of spectacular Point Reyes, Drakes Estero is the only marine wilderness area on the West Coast comprised of five branching bays, that includes 2300 acres of underwater wilderness—or twice the size of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Alan will guide participants along the trail through open grasslands, a small forest, and out to cliffs that offer outstanding views of Drakes and Limantour esteros. The area offers a number of quality habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors as well as resident and migratory land birds. 

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: Grasshopper sparrow; migrant shorebirds and songbirds; tule elk, coyote and bobcat


Birds of Shollenberger Park’s Tidal Marsh

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 8:30 am – 1:00 pm (Morning)
Guide: Peter Colasanti
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $45 | Limited to 15 participants

Join guide Peter Colasanti for a day exploring Schollenberger Park’s tidal marsh in Petaluma, CA. This wetland has become a favorite of many birders, with over 220 bird species recorded here, it provides critically important habitat for large numbers of migrant shorebirds and waterfowl. Nesting avocets and stilts share the area with godwits, peeps and plovers, often including Pacific golden plover. This can be an especially good spot for marsh species such as great tailed grackle, Virginia rail and American bittern. Dabbling ducks here include wigeon, pintail, and gadwall. 

Event location: Petaluma, CA

Target bird or species information: Avocet, stilt, godwits, peeps, plovers, including Pacific golden plover; Virginia rail and American bittern; and wigeon, pintail, gadwall and great-tailed grackle.


Nesting Herons and Egrets of Santa Rosa

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (Morning)
Guide: Emiko Condeso
Difficulty/Length: Easy, No Hike, Observation Only
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 5+
Ticket Price: $45 | Limited to 15 participants

Enjoy visiting one of the largest, wonderfully dramatic, and most unexpected heron and egret nesting sites in the North Bay with Emiko Condeso of Audubon Canyon Ranch. We will spend time observing the nesting behaviors of four species of Ardeids: great egret, snowy egret, cattle egret, and black-crowned night heron. This nesting site is located along Santa Rosa Creek and is next door to Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. We will likely have excellent views of courtship behavior and small downy chicks--a great opportunity for nature photographers. In previous years we have seen over 300 nests! 

Event location: Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

Target bird or species information: Great egret, snowy egret, cattle egret, black-crowned night heron, and raptors.


San Geronimo Valley: Birding Along the Edges

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 9:00 am to 12:00 pm | Morning
Guides: Bob Battagin and Adam Donkin
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Join us to discover the rich diversity of birds within range of a quick morning foray. This easy walk will take us through the wide variety of ecosystems typical of the San Geronimo Valley: open grassland, riparian, oak woodland, chaparral, redwood and mixed evergreen forests, and developed areas near the golf course and school grounds.   We’ll start along Lagunitas Creek by comparing songs of Black-headed Grosbeaks and American Robins. As we cross the open field of the schoolyard, we’ll observe Western bluebirds and tree swallows competing for nesting sites. Soon our group will disappear into a dense oak woodland, spring home to Pacific-slope flycatchers, warbling vireos, and other western migrants. We will emerge onto a chaparral dotted with coyote brush hosting wrentits, sparrows, and raptors. As we drop down into Roy’s Redwoods State Park, we’ll scope the golf course pond for straggling winter ducks and nesting green herons. The redwood forest will yield pygmy nuthatches, brown creeper, and golden-crowned kinglets. From here, we’ll skirt the golf course and residential areas for ash-throated flycatcher, purple finch, and warblers. The last leg of our journey will traverse open grassland, where we’ll scope raptors such as American kestrel, white-tailed kite, Cooper’s hawk, and the potential merlin fly-by. We will take note of many plant species and their importance to birds and animals who depend on them. Participants will learn to recognize local bird species by sound, as well as appearance. 

Event location:  Various locations around the San Geronimo Valley and Nicasio Reservoir. 

Target Species: Diverse bird species based on different habitats listed above.


Point Reyes Headlands: Wildflowers of Chimney Rock & More!

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 9:30 am – 1:00 pm | Morning
Guide: Susan Cochrane Levitsky
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 15 participants

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Point Reyes National Seashore, and one of the highest density areas of wildflowers at Chimney Rock. Join Susan Cochrane Levitsky for a wildflower walk around this incredibly scenic area.  The diversity and amount of wildflowers is dependent on a number of factors including the amount and frequency of rains, soil types, exposure to the sun and temperature variables. Point Reyes blooms typically peak February – June, and most years we have happily seen over 70 different plants including several local rarities. Susan will guide you on a casual walk through wildflower fields, focusing on appreciation and identification of plants and natural communities. Most years we get an added bonus of sighting peregrine falcons, great horned owls, California sea lions, migrating whales, and a variety of sea, shore and song birds.

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target species: Tidytips, California poppy, various lupines, dozens more!


The Birds and Stories Behind Owl: A Year in the Life of the North American Owl

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm | Afternoon  
Guide: Paul Bannick
Difficulty/Length: Easy
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $20 | Limited to 30 participants

Paul will take participants on a behind the scenes storytelling of the birds and experiences that helped to shape his 2016 book, Owl: A Year in the life of North American Owls. His talk will focus on his first-hand experience spent with owls on their territories in the wild. This is a must attend event for an aspiring field photographer and fans of Paul's. 

Event location: Point Reyes Station, CA

Target bird or species information: Behind the scenes of Owls story-telling


Tule Elk Trek at Tomales Point

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 11:00 pm – 3:00 pm | Afternoon
Guide: Frank Binney 
Difficulty/Length: Easy to moderate, 2-4 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Spring brings stunning displays of wildflowers and a new generation of elk calves to the wilderness landscape of the Tomales Point Tule Elk Preserve. We’ll spend a day hiking along granite mesas, with spectacular views of Pacific Ocean cliffs on one side and scenic panoramas of Tomales Bay on the other, enjoying the myriad colors and fragrances of spring wildflowers while we scan groups of tule elk cows for glimpses of spotted, nursing babies. During our journey we’ll explore the role tule elk played in California ecology for thousands of years, the reasons they nearly vanished forever, and what we can do to help them continue to thrive. The scenery will also likely spark your curiosity about other secrets of the Tomales Point peninsula: Coast Miwok heritage, Gold Rush-era ranching, San Andreas fault geology, raptors, coyotes, native plants and more.   

Event location:  Point Reyes National Seashore   

Target bird or species information:  Tule elk, raptors, wildflowers, and migrating whales.


Dragon and Damselflies of Five Brooks

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm | Afternoon
Guide: Sandra Hunt-von Arb
Difficulty/Length: Easy, some classroom, and > 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 15 participants

Join dragonfly biologist Sandra Hunt-von Arb to learn more about the fascinating world of dragonflies and damselflies. The program will begin with an indoor presentation on the area’s dragonflies, followed by field exploration at Five Brooks Pond in Point Reyes National Seashore to look for spring sampling of colorful and fascinating dragonflies and damselflies. If the day is warm, the group will see such wonderful creatures as the blue-eyed darner, Pacific forktail, Western pondhawk and the cardinal meadowhawk! Learn the difference between dragonflies and damselflies, where to go see them, and how to identify individual species. Find out why dragonflies are the next big thing!   

Event location: Point Reyes Station and Point Reyes National Seashore  

Target bird or species information: Dragon and damselflies.


Bird Photography: Tips, Tricks and Technique

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm | Afternoon
Guide: Bill Walker
Difficulty/Length: Classroom
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price $20 | Limited 15 participants

Join photographer Bill Walker for a classroom session to aimed at the fundamentals of wildlife photography as it pertains to birds. We'll start by talking about field techniques and how to approach birds while respecting their health and safety. I'll show you to control exposure for different lighting conditions, how to compose pleasing images by attending to both the foreground and background, some tips for processing your photos on the computer, and some ideas about how to organize your library of images.The class is aimed primarily at photographers using DSLR cameras. However, much of the material is pertinent to folks doing digiscoping or using fixed-lens cameras. We will head outside briefly to put some of these techniques in action. 

Event location:  Point Reyes Station, CA


Happy Hour and Silent Auction with Festival Guides

Saturday, April 29, 2017
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Ticket Price: $20 (Includes wine, beer, and small bites)
Limited to 70 participants

Unwind from your birding adventures for Saturday night Happy Hour! Enjoy wine, craft beers, small bites included with your Happy Hour ticket. A wonderful opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow Festival participants and field guides. Silent Auction items will be available for bidding including private field events with popular guides, art and photography. Keynote speaker, Julie Zickefoose will be signing copies of her book, Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest.

If you plan to attend both happy hour and the banquet dinner/keynote, purchase only the $70 ticket option that includes both Happy Hour, Dinner and keynote by Julie Zickefoose.

Sponsors: Irons Springs Pub & Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company   


Happy Hour, Silent Auction, Dinner
with Keynote Speaker Julie Zickefoose

Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm | Evening
Evening Speaker: Julie Zickefoose
Experience Levels/Ages: All, Ages 21+ 
Ticket Price: $70 | Limited to 150 participants

Relax and unwind with a combined ticket to the Festival's Happy Hour, banquet dinner and keynote presentation Julie Zickefoose. At the happy hour, enjoy wine, craft beers, small bites and get your copy of Julie's book signed. Following happy hour join the group for an organic farm fresh dinner and Julie's keynote presentation. Ticket price includes admission to happy hour, dinner and keynote. All drinks included. Space is limited for this event. 

The keynote presentation by Julie will focus on her new book, Baby BirdsAn Artist Looks into the Nest, covering over 500 life studies. Life sized baby birds wriggle, crawl and flutter off the pages of this big, beautiful book, the product of 13 years' deep involvement and close observation of nestling birds. Julie's paintings break new ground in both art and ornithology, for such depiction of nestling growth in day-by-day paintings from life has never before been done. In the keynote presentation, she will take us on a journey exploring her 13 years of work documenting the daily changes in 17 bird species from hatching to fledgling. Expect a lively presentation, laced with humor, wonder and the relentless curiosity for which Julie Zickefoose is known. Signed copies of the book will be for sale. 

Sponsors: Delicious Dish CateringIrons Springs Pub & Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company  


Sunday, April 30th - Full Day Events

Walking Big Day

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 7:00 am – 4:30 pm (Full Day) 
Guide: David Wimpfheimer
Difficulty/Length: Strenuous, 11-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: Intermediate, Ages 18+ 
Ticket Price: $75 | Limited to 15 participants

Join naturalist and expert birder David Wimpfheimer for a walking Big Day in Point Reyes National Seashore. Like regular "Big Days," we will spend a full day counting as many species as possible, but being on foot allows us to appreciate these habitats more fully. This is not a trip for beginners: the goal is to see and hear as many birds as possible during a challenging, but wonderfully rich day.  Although the pace will be fast, a main focus will be on bird identification by sight and sound.  Participants will carpool out to Limantour Beach, view birds in the estero there and then walk back to Point Reyes Station.  This hike is roughly 11-miles, over a 1,000 foot elevation gain/loss. Our walk will take us through a variety of habitats including beach, marshlands, grasslands, oak woodlands, Douglas-fir forests, and saltmarshes. Most years we find 90-100 species of birds on this excursion. This is a great way to discover Point Reyes habitats, the national seashore, and see many kinds of birds.     

Event location: Limantour Beach and spit, over the Wittenberg ridgeline, to Olema Marsh, down to the Giacomini Wetlands (GGNRA).   

Target bird or species information:  Large variety of raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl and passerines.


Birding the Ranchlands of Chileno Valley

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 7:30 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Bob Power
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 3-6 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: Intermediate, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $55 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder Bob Power for a day of birdwatching on the MALT-protected Thacher Ranch in Chileno Valley. The valley is tucked in the rolling hills of coastal Marin, where thousands of acres unfold into grasslands, chaparral and riparian habitat. Up near the Marin-Sonoma border, the Thacher Ranch lies at the end of a dry and dusty dirt road, winding past whitewashed wooden fences, coast live oak, red-winged blackbirds, singing meadowlarks and savannah sparrows, and dozens of heifers who pause momentarily from their grazing to stare at passing cars with mild curiosity. This three-mile walk into the heart of the ranch (typically not open to the public) will give us a chance at Allen’s hummingbird, ash-throated flycatcher, lark sparrow, rufous-crowned sparrow, Bullock’s oriole, raptors and more.  There will be an emphasis on birding-by-ear and observation of breeding behavior.   

Event location: Chileno Valley

Target bird or species information: Rufous-crowned Sparrow, lazuli bunting, lark sparrow, Swainson’s thrush, ash-throated flycatcher, warbling vireo, Allen’s hummingbird.


Raptor Ramble

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 8:00 am – 1:30 pm | Full Day
Guide: Joe DiDonato 
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 3-miles
Experience Levels/Ages:  All Levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join raptor biologist Joe DiDonato for a raptor ramble at Point Reyes National Seashore. Raptors often puzzle birders because of their similar plumage, and the difficulty of identifying them when they are flying far away or even overhead. In this field class, participants will learn how to identify raptors by plumage, and silhouette, their habits, and by their interesting courtship displays. This trip will help beginning or expert birders refine their skills. We will look for red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, osprey, white-tailed kite, northern harrier, American kestrel and other raptors.   

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: Raptors, including species listed above.


Birding King Ridge Road and the Russian River

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 8:00 am – 1:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Ken Wilson and Becky Olsen 
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder Ken Wilson for a day exploring birds around the Russian River and Cazadero in Sonoma county. We will visit sites around the town of Duncan’s Mills, and along Austin Creek and King’s Ridge Road (most popular for viewing the American dipper). We will carpool from site to site in search of birds. Ken will point out and help identify resident and migrant species along the way. Numerous uncommon species may be found here, including sooty grouse, mountain quail, bald eagle, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, pileated woodpecker, northern pygmy-owl and white-throated Swift, not to mention lazuli bunting, black-throated gray warbler and lark sparrow. 

Event location: Russian River, Sonoma County

Target bird or species information: Landbirds of all kinds, including unusual species listed above


Birding Golden Gate’s Kirby Cove

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 8:00 am – 1:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Alan Hopkins
Difficulty/Length: Moderate-Strenuous, 2 - 4 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 14+ 
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder Alan Hopkins for a day exploring birds at Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Kirby Cove. No beach in the world has a view like this.  An infrequently birded site at the extreme southern end of west Marin Kirby Cove offers spectacular views of the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city. We will take a casual walk down the 1.8 mile moderately steep trail down to the beach. Along the way we will watch for common birds of coastal scrub: wentit, Bewick’s wren and spotted towhee. Rufous-crowned sparrow is a possibility. As we head into the woodlands we should find olive-sided flycatcher, pacific-slope flycatcher, western bluebird and migrants. Off-shore we should find cormorants, grebes, pelicans and oystercatchers along the shoreline. If there is time we will finish at nearby Rodeo Lagoon.   

Event location: Kirby Cove, Golden Gate National Recreation Area   

Target bird or species information: Resident and migrating birds; Wentit, Bewick’s wren, spotted towhee, rufous-crowned sparrow, olive-sided flycatcher, pacific-slope flycatcher, western bluebird, cormorants, grebes, pelicans, and oystercatchers


Birding Stinson Beach and Bolinas Lagoon

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 8:30 am – 2:00 pm | Full Day
Guide: Keith Hansen
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants
Class is SOLD OUT - you can still register to be put on the wait list.
When registering, just click the box and it will add you to the wait list. We will contact you if a spot opens up. 


Join internationally known birder and illustrator, Keith Hansen for a day exploring birds and wildlife at the southern end of West Marin. Keith will guide the group around to some of his favorite birding locations around Bolinas Lagoon and Stinson Beach pointing out and identifying birds along the way. This tour will cover forested and coastline habitats as well as the very productive mudflats in Bolinas Lagoon. The lagoon is one of the most important stopover points for birds that migrate along the Pacific Flyway with millions of shorebirds and other waterfowl visiting each year.  The lagoon is also home to a thriving population of harbor seals that can always be seen at low tide when they haul out to rest.  Depending on time, the group is welcome to visit Keith’s art studio in Bolinas afterwards.   

Event location: Stinson Beach and Bolinas Lagoon, CA   

Target bird or species information: shore birds, ducks and other waterbirds, dozens of forest and grassland birds.


Sunday, April 30th, Morning Events

Photographic Wildlife Safari

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 7:00 am – 11:00 am | Morning
Guide: Daniel Dietrich
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1-2 miles
Experience Levels/Ages:  All, Ages 18+
Ticket Price: $200 | Limited to 3 participants

Grab your camera and tripods, and join professional wildlife photographer Daniel Dietrich of Point Reyes Safaris for an unforgettable photographic wildlife safari at Point Reyes National Seashore. When home, Daniel spends nearly every day in Point Reyes National Seashore. His intimate knowledge of the park, its history, and the animal life will provide the group with a one of a kind experience. Daniel will take this intimate group to some of his favorite places to view and photograph wildlife in their natural habitat. His commitment to nature, his clients and his followers is to shoot nature as it presents itself. He will never use bait, lures, calls or any other method of manipulating an animal to view or capture an image. He will, however, share tips and tricks of the trade, and how to responsibly watch and photograph wildlife. The group will have the opportunity to see raptors, owls, shorebirds, bobcats, tule elk, coyotes, badgers, raptors, owls, and marine animals. And of course there is a beautiful vista around every curve. So don't forget your landscape lens for some dramatic scenery shots.   

Event location: Various Locations, Point Reyes National Seashore

Target bird or species information: Owls, raptors, bobcat, coyote, tule elk and more.


Giacomini Wetlands: A Tidal Refuge

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 8:00 am – 11:00 am | Morning
Guide: Jules Evens
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1 miles
Experience Levels/Ages:  All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $50 | Limited to 15 participants
Class is SOLD OUT - you can still register to be put on the wait list.
When registering, just click the box and it will add you to the wait list. We will contact you if a spot opens up. 


Join birder and naturalist Jules Evens to explore birdlife in the Giacomini Wetlands outside of Point Reyes Station.  In 2008, the National Park Service restored the site allowing tidal waters to inundate 550 acres of diked agricultural land for the first time in six decades.  The goal was to return the natural flow of water through the system, then stand back and let nature have its way, but the restoration outcomes exceeded expectations, and we now have evidence that the effort is profoundly benefiting the entire system – especially for wildlife. Set between the pastoral ranchlands of West Marin to the east and the protected wildlands of Point Reyes National Seashore on the western shore, Tomales Bay is recognized as one of the most intact and biologically healthy estuaries along the California coast, even prior to the restoration. As such, it has long served as an essential refueling site for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway as well as home for large numbers of overwintering and resident species. And now, by bringing back some 12 percent of the historic coastal wetlands between Cape Mendocino and Point Conception, the Giacomini Restoration project dramatically enhances the bay’s ecological value to those species. As the Point Reyes National Seashore's birdlife consultant for the restoration project, and one who conducted pre- and post-restoration surveys, Jules is particularly well-suited to explain the project and the ongoing changes in bird life. Join him for a look at the wetlands from all the best areas for birding, including an overlook located on private property. Learn about salt marsh ecology and restoration, and see the birds that now inhabit the wetlands. 

Event location: Giacomini Wetlands

Target bird or species information: Sea, shore and land birds.


Birding By Ear at Five Brooks

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 8:00 am - 12:30 pm | Morning) 
Guide: Daniel Edelstein  
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 1-mile
Experience Levels/Ages:  All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $45 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder Daniel Edelstein for a morning birding class at Five Brooks pond, at Point Reyes National Seashore. The trail and pond host beautiful riparian habitat, great for both migrants and local breeders.  We'll be listening for Wilson's warblers who vigorously stake out their territories, as we stealthily search for wary wood ducks.  Purple martins are occasionally in the area and there should be a nice diversity of songbirds.  This walk will emphasize birding by ear -- we'll take the time to appreciate and learn the songs and calls of many flycatchers, vireos, warblers and other species. Participants will receive a handout related to spring nesting and migration in Marin County, including one entitled Top Ten Tips To Improving Your Birding By Ear, as we discuss the ecology of bird songs and their functions. Time permitting, we may briefly explore other nearby habitats.   

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore   

Target bird or species information: many flycatchers, thrushes, vireos, warblers and other passerines.


Winged Wonders, Wildlife, and Wildflowers of Chimney Rock

Saturday, April 30, 2017 | 8:30 am – 12:30 pm | Morning
Guide: Burr Heneman 
Difficulty/Length: Easy, 2-4-mile
Experience Levels/Ages:  All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 15 participants

Where can you see winged wonders, wildlflowers and whales? If you’re lucky, you can see all of them — and some elephant seals to boot at Point Reyes National Seashore’s Chimney Rock and Elephant Seal Overlook on the Point Reyes Headlands. Join marine naturalist and native plant buff Burr Heneman for a morning exploring these themes. Extending 20 miles out from the mainland, this is the perfect resting location along the Pacific Flyway where we can see an interesting mix of terrestrial and marine bird species.  We will have a chance to see common murre, pigeon guillemot, brandt’s and pelagic cormorant, black oystercatcher, peregrine falcon, great horned owl, rock wren, northern harrier, savannah sparrow, and a variety of loons and grebes.The wildflower displays are also terrific, and we can expect to see Franciscan paintbrush, hairy star-tulip, Point Reyes chocolate lily, coastal larkspur, coast wallflower, seaside daisy, various owl’s clovers, goldfields, and angelica. This area is also an ideal spot to observe elephant seal colonies and seasonal whale migrations, with the enclosed Bay on one side and the open ocean on the other side. Panoramic views extend across Drakes Beach, Drakes Estero, Limantour Beach and out to the Farallon Islands, so don’t forget your camera.   

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore   

Target species: Species listed above.


Tidepooling at Duxbury Reef – Life on the Edge

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 9:00 am - 12:00 pm | Morning
Guide: Andrea Freeman
Difficulty/Length: Easy-Moderate (Slippery), 1-mile
Experience Levels/Ages:  All levels, Ages 9+ 
Ticket Price: $35 | Limited to 15 participants

Come enjoy a low-tide exploration of one of the largest shale reefs in North America. We’ll discuss the unique geology of the area and the marine influences that make it such a rich site. Peering into tidepools we’ll marvel at many extraordinary critters, admiring the adaptations that enable them to survive. Some of the amazing invertebrates we may see include giant green anemones, ochre sea stars, purple sea urchins, an array of crabs and curious worms, as well as mussels, whelks, barnacles, limpets, chitons and bryozoans. If we’re lucky, we may also find some nudibranchs – sea slugs of such incredible beauty they’re referred to as the ‘butterflies of the sea’. We’ll also be looking at the diverse assemblage of seaweeds, many of which are edible, that grow on the reef. In addition to the tidepool critters, we’re very likely to see harbor seals that often use the reef as a haul out. We may see gray whales who hug the coast with their calves as they migrate northward. Birds that frequent the reef include herons, egrets, cormorants, black oystercatchers, brown pelicans and western gulls, but we’ll keep our eyes open for any other birds who might come to enjoy the low tide buffet. The reef is covered with slippery algae and we’ll be walking about a mile so be prepared! (Don’t wear flip-flops!). Younger children also welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Event location: Agate Beach, Bolinas, CA

Target bird or species information:  Species listed above.


An Overview and Look Into Drakes Estero Wilderness

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 8:30 am – 12:30 pm | Morning
Guide: Gordon Bennett 
Difficulty/Length: Easy-Moderate, 3-5 miles
Experience Levels/Ages:  All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $40 | Limited to 15 participants

The ecological heart of Point Reyes National Seashore, Drake Estero, is the only marine wilderness in the lower 48 states, and is home to an abundant diversity of birds and marine mammals. On this trip, your guide Gordon Bennett will lead the group on a beach walk at low tide along Drakes Beach to the mouth of Drakes Estero, observing shorebirds along the way, and ending with great views of sandbars full of harbor seals and resting and foraging shorebirds. The guide will also discuss the political and legal history of the creation of the marine wilderness area in Drakes Estero and its natural ecology. 

Event Location: Drakes Beach and Drakes Estero

Target bird or species information: Shorebirds; waterfowl, loons; grebes; raptors


Birding the Point Reyes Headlands

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 9:30 am – 11:30 am | Morning
Guide: Bill Yeates
Difficulty/Length: Easy-Moderate, 2-4 miles
Experience Levels/Ages:  All levels, Ages 10+ 
Ticket Price: $25 | Limited to 15 participants

Join birder Bill Yeates for a morning of birdwatching at the Point Reyes Headlands, including Chimney Rock and the cliffs below the Point Reyes Lighthouse. These large outcroppings jut 20-miles out to sea, and are perfect landing spot for resident and migrant birds along the Pacific Flyway. We will have a great opportunity to observe seabirds from above including: pacific and common loons, double-crested, brandts & pelagic cormorants; common murre (and colony); western, glaucous-winged, herring and Bonaparte's gulls; pigeon guillemot; western and red-necked grebes; brown and white pelicans; brant; surfbird; harlequin duck; surf and white-winged scoters. Nested in the Cypress trees along the point, we will have a chance to see the great horned owls. Peregrine falcons are often seen flying overhead, and perched on the rock ledges or rock outcroppings. Ravens often put on a nice aerial display. Savannah sparrow is the main grassland species, but observing a rock wren is a good possibility. If we are lucky, we will also see some marine mammals including Northern elephant seals , California sea lions and migrating Pacific gray whales.   

Event Location: Chimney Rock and Point Reyes Lighthouse, Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Target bird or species information: See species listed above.


Sunday, April 30th Family and Youth Events

Live Birds with The Bird Rescue Center

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Youth & Family Programming
Guides: The Bird Rescue Center
Location: Dance Palace Community and Cultural Center
Ticket Price: $10  | Limited to 50 participants

Calling all families with fledglings! Bring your brood out to the Dance Palace on Sunday, April 30 to learn more about birds and nature. Our Youth & Family Programming will kick off with a special live bird presentation from the The Bird Rescue Center. Docents will bring three Education Ambassadors — (resident hawks, owls, and falcons whose permanent disabilities have made them non-releasable), inlcuding a great horned owl. This is a rare and memorable opportunity to see these wild birds up-close, and learn about our native bird species, their fascinating adaptations and the essential roles they play in our local ecosystems.  Afterwards join us for one of three Youth & Family bird and nature walks at Point Reyes National Seashore, or for a nature journaling class with our keynote speaker Julie Zickefoose, or have lunch then come back for our shark film and discussion with Shark Stewards founder, David McGuire.

Children must be accompanied by an adult

The Bird Rescue Center is a rehabilitation center for Sonoma County’s wild native birds. Their mission is to assist in the rescue, treatment and release of injured, orphaned or ill birds in the northern San Francisco Bay Area, and to educate the public regarding their ecological importance.


Exploring Wetlands With Kids

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 11:15 am – 12:45 pm | Youth & Family Programming Ages 5-10
Guides: Fiona O’Kelly
Ticket Price: $10 | Limited to 15 total participants (including parents and children)

Following our live bird presentation, guide Fiona O’Kelly will take families with kids ages 5-10 out to explore the Giacomini Wetlands and look for birds and other wildlife. Expect the unexpected, as nature sets the stage for discovery  - under logs, on the ground and in the sky! Fiona’s passion for all things WILD is contagious, which is perfect for kids just learning about the WILD WORLD. She will use interpretation and games to get kids jazzed about the outdoors. Afterwards, stick around for a late lunch, or join us for a shark talk back at the Dance Palace.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please limit to one parent attending per family group so that we can accommodate as many kids on the walk as possible.

Event Location: Giacomini Wetlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area


Birds and Dunes of Abbotts Lagoon for Families

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 11:30 am – 2:30 pm | Youth & Family Programming - Ages 6 - 18
Guides: Sharon “Heron” Barnett and Kevin “Kestrel” Stockmann
Ticket Price: $20 | Limited to 15 participants

Following our live bird presentation, join guides Sharon Heron and Kevin Kestrel on an easy walk to Abbotts Lagoon looking for birds and other wildlife along the way. Sharon and Kevin will help everyone get good looks at many types of birds that live in the coastal scrub, on the fresh water pond, on the brackish water lagoon, amidst the sand dunes and on the open ocean. They will teach about dune ecology, ongoing dune restoration projects, and the challenges of life on the beach for the threatened snowy plovers. We’ll also learn about scat, stink beetles, river otters- anything that catches our eye! This is a family-friendly outing, with special focus on kids ages 6-18. With its rich variety of habitats, Abbotts Lagoon is a favorite birding and nature destination at Point Reyes.

Event Location: Abbotts Lagoon


Youth Nature Journaling with Keynote Speaker Julie Zickefoose

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 11:15 am – 12:45 pm | Youth & Family Programming - Ages 12-18
Guides: Julie Zickefoose
Ticket Price: $40   | Limited to 15 participants

Following our live bird presentation, join birder and artist Julie Zickefoose for a special class on nature journalling for youth ages 12-18. This is a family event where your kids will learn about nature and nature journaling. Learning how to listen and observe in nature enhances ones overall experience in nature. Bring a notebook or drawing pad and pencils along for the walk. We will explore nearby areas with flowers, plants, and birds to draw and write about.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please limit to one parent attending per family group so that we can accommodate as many kids on the walk as possible.

Event location: Point Reyes National Seashore


Sunday, April 30th Afternoon Events

Sharks of the Bay and Pacific Coast
Screening of film and discussion with filmmaker and founder of Shark Stewards

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Afternoon|
Guide: David McGuire
Ticket Price: $25 | Limited to 45 participants

Join shark expert David McGuire, founder of Shark Stewards, and dive into the underwater world of the "City by the Bay." Great White sharks used to live in the San Francisco Bay, but today's top predator is the sevengill shark. Little is known about sevengill sharks behavior, reproduction, and ecology. Since 2008, Aquarium of the Bay has worked with UC-Davis' Biotelemetry Lab to track, detect the movements and analyze sevengills in San Francisco Bay. In 2009, Aquarium of the Bay released "City of the Shark," a short documentary by David McGuire and SeaStewards Media, providing a close-up look at local species, with emphasis on the sevengill shark. Narrated by Mike Gibbons, the film takes you on board the Aquarium's research vessels and dives into the Aquarium's exhibits for an up close look at these enigmatic animals. Join David for a screening of his film, "City of the Shark," followed by a lecture and discussion with the group.

Event location: Point Reyes Station, CA


Past and Present: San Francisco Bay Area Birds

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm | Afternoon
Guide: Harry Fuller
Difficulty/Length: Classroom
Experience Levels/Ages: All levels, Ages 10+
Ticket Price: $15  | Limited to 20 participants

Join guide and author Harry Fuller for a one hour talk to trace the large and profound changes in the natural history of San Francisco since the days of the Miwok.  We will cover the colonization of the Mission and Presidio, including turning loose the livestock, how weeds and garden plants escaped into the environment, how there are no longer rattlesnakes on Russian Hill and no grizzlies to swim Mission Creek. We will especially focus on the changes in bird life since the days when quail coveys had hundreds of birds, a least bittern was collected in the Presidio and no birds nested on Alcatraz.  We will also trace the arrival of the newcomers like pygmy nuthatch, mockingbird, hooded oriole and now Eurasian collared-dove. Lastly, we look at what conservation has achieved and what climate change portends.

Event location: Point Reyes Station, CA