Online registration for the tours is now open - click on the "E" below to sign up on Eventbrite. Please call 209-366-7115 if you need additional information or assistance. We are making every effort to create a registration system that is user friendly!!
Tour Schedule For enhanced wildlife viewing opportunities, make sure to visit the festival after your tour is over! Wild animal presentations, guest speakers, demonstrations, exhibits, free youth activities and a variety of food vendors will all be awaiting your return! 6:00am - 8:30am ZenOptic Wetlands Dawn Photo Tour 6:00am - 8:30am Cosumnes River Preserve Photo Tour – Sponsored by CANON 8:00am - 11:00am Wetlands and Waterbirds 9:00 am - 12:00pm Cosumnes River Preserve Wildlife Biologist Tour 9:00 am - 11:30am Children’s Tour at the Cosumnes River Preserve 9:00am - 1:00 pm Heritage Oak Winery Bird Walk, Lunch & Wine Tasting 10:00am - 2:00 pm Birding on the River Paddle Tour 3:30 pm - Sunset with the Cranes, Sponsored by CANON
ZenOptic Wetlands Dawn Photo Tour – Lon Yarbrough There is no better time to experience the vibrant life of the wetlands than at dawn. And no better time to enjoy sandhill cranes as they begin their day with song and dance. Join a small and hearty group led by local craniac photographer, Lon (LA) Yarbrough, on this amazing photo opportunity. As the sun rises you will experiment with high ISOs, long shutter speeds and wide open apertures to capture images not obtainable at any other time. Details and techniques are available at http://www.naturalmedia.us/. Participants will be notified of location a few days before the shoot by phone or e-mail. 6:00 am – 8:30 am, Tour is limited to 12 people. $30 per participant. Cosumnes River
Preserve Photo Tour – Sponsored by CANON CAMERA Take a photo tour at the Cougar Wetlands Unit, a closed area of the Preserve nestled along the Cosumnes River. These wetlands provide food and rest for thousands of birds that make the Central Valley home during the winter months. The tour begins at sunrise with the opportunity to photograph migratory waterfowl and shorebirds as well as a variety of wetland habitats during the soft glow of the misty morning. We will wander among the wetlands increasing our chances of catching a glimpse of the secretive bittern or get an overhead shot of morning flights of sandhill cranes leaving their overnight roosts as time allows. We will search for coyote, wild turkey, deer, birds of prey and other animals along the journey. Canon and their representatives will be on hand with some amazing cameras for you to photograph with. We could be walking upwards of a mile and in wet conditions, so please come prepared with rubber boots, rain gear, camera and all other essential equipment for this trek. You won’t want to miss this one! Transportation from McCaffrey Middle School will be provided. No private vehicles allowed.6:00 am – 9:30 am, Tour is limited to 12 people. $30 per participant Wetlands and Waterbirds Take a tour with the Cosumnes River Preserve's Wetland Manager to learn about wetland ecology and the fascinating world of wetland dependent waterfowl and waterbirds. The tour will explore wetland areas behind the gates of the Preserve and tour participants will have ample time to view several species of waterfowl and waterbirds, everything from the tallest of sandhill cranes to the smallest of shorebirds. Participants will learn about wetland ecology and how the Preserve's wetlands are managed to maximize the benefits for resident and migratory waterfowl and waterbirds. Transportation from McCaffrey Middle School will be provided. No private vehicles allowed. 8:00 am – 11:00 am, $15 per participant Cosumnes River Preserve Wildlife Biologist Tour Have you ever wondered how a Wildlife Biologist thinks? Are you interested in how many calories a duck needs to consume each day for flight? How birds navigate during migration? How biologists survey bird populations? If so, now is your opportunity to find out during a tour with the Cosumnes River Preserve’s Wildlife Biologist. Mark Ackerman has worked at the Preserve for more than 14 years. His knowledge of the birds, wildlife, and habitats of the Preserve enhance his ability to take you on a tour like no other. This tour will focus on Wildlife Management and how biologists gain and use their knowledge of species and habitats to support the mission of the Preserve. Participants will have ample opportunities to view birds and other wildlife. Transportation from McCaffrey Middle School will be provided. No private vehicles allowed.9:00 am – 12:00 pm, $15 per participant Cosumnes River Preserve Children’s Tour You won’t want to miss this fun filled tour designed specifically for kids! Grab a pair of binoculars and hop on the bus for the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the preserve. Your children will learn how to identify birds and enjoy the various crafts and educational “stations”. Don’t miss the fun! Transportation from McCaffrey Middle School will be provided. No private vehicles allowed. 9:00 am – 11:30 am, $15 per participant. Youth 18 and younger are FREE *Recommended age 5 and up Heritage Oaks Winery Field Trip (Lunch & Wine Tasting Included) – David Yee The Heritage Oak Winery is owned by the Hoffman family, and sits along an expansive stretch of the lower Mokelumne River east of Lodi. Because of the long-term commitment to conservation and habitat preservation by the Hoffman family, their property includes over 50 acres of wonderful riparian habitat, mature stands of Valley Oak/Cottonwood forest, and recently restored willow-lined meadows. This field trip begins at the winery. We will embark on an easy mile hike past vineyards, through the forest of the flood plain, and to the shores of the Mokelumne River. We expect to see many species of wintering sparrows and warblers. Berry and insect eaters should be present, including Hermit Thrush, kinglet, bluebird, Hutton’s Vireo, and Cedar Waxwing. The raptor diversity at this location can be surprisingly high and has included Cooper’s Hawk, Osprey, and Merlin. David Yee is a native to the Lodi area, and has been birding the Mokelumne River for over 35 years. He is an authority of the birds of San Joaquin County and authored the Bird Checklist of San Joaquin County. Transportation from McCaffrey Middle School will be provided. No private vehicles allowed.9:00 am – 1:00 pm, $30 per participant. Must be 21 Birding on the River Paddle Tour Join Cosumnes River volunteers for a paddle around Middle Slough and up the Cosumnes River. If weather permits, we will travel up stream to Tihuechemne Slough and all the way to the Tall Forest, an old growth Valley Oak forest over 100 years old. Be on the lookout for cormorants, wood ducks, red-tailed hawks, sandhill cranes and a variety of other winter waterfowl. If you are lucky, you might see a river otter or beaver in the water. All kayaking equipment will be provided including PFDs. This is a non-instructional tour and kayaking experience is required. Equipment provided by California Canoe and Kayak. Meet at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center Parking Lot. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Tour is limited to 16 people, $75 per participant Sunset with the Cranes Very few words can describe the sight of hundreds of cranes flying in to roost for the night. This is your opportunity to learn about the farming practices of Staten Island and see first hand Cranes at Sunset! Canon experts with their long lenses will be there so you can practice photographing these birds in late evening light. Transportation from McCaffrey Middle School will be provided. No private vehicles allowed.3:30 pm – Sunset, $15 per participant