Festival News

Ready for a Winter Adventure!

A rich opportunity for exploration and
adventure awaits you at the

18th Annual Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway
January 25 – 29, 2017


No phone registrations will be taken during the Festival, January 25-29.  Walk-in registrations only will be taken at this location during these hours:

Chico Masonic Family Center
Wednseday - Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm 

Saturday, 6:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday, 6:30am – 12:00pm

  • Over 70 guided field trips & workshops
  • Junior Naturalist Activities
  • Snow Goose Festival Wildlife Art Exhibit & Reception
  • Banquet & Silent Auction
  • Keynote Speaker,  Alvaro Jaramillo, International Bird Guide & Author
  • Exhibits & Vendors Galore!

Welcome Alvaro Jaramillo!
Special Guest & Keynote Speaker at Saturday’s “Gathering of Wings” Banquet & Silent Auction

Alvaro Jaramillo

International bird guide and author, Alvaro Jaramillo, will share his knowledge and insight into a birder’s brain. Come hear his lighthearted and informative explanation of how we identify birds and why birding is a great addition to anyone’s life.

The Birder Brain and Why Birding is for Everyone

Birding is a ton of fun, it gets you outside, you meet great people, you see gorgeous birds, and it works your brain! Much of the brain exercise is about learning and recognizing, in other words identifying birds. Most bird identification lectures focus on field marks and the specifics of separating species A from species B. But few ask exactly how we identify birds. What is our brain going through in order to do this? How does our brain get tripped up during bird identification – ever encountered the "leaf bird," the "branch bird," or the worse one of all, "the plastic bag snowy owl?" Why do experts identify birds almost without thinking, while the rest of us need to struggle? Are they different than the rest of us, or are there tricks? Truth is that bird identification is pretty tricky stuff, but our brain is wired to shortcut much of the thinking involved in doing it. The trick is training yourself to do it like a pro. And that is the aim of this presentation – a lighthearted but informative explanation of how the heck they do it. In turn we also realize how birding is for everyone, and a great addition to anyone’s life.

Alvaro Jaramillo was born in Chile but began birding in Toronto, Canada, where he lived as a youth. He was trained in ecology and evolution with a particular interest in bird behavior. He is the author of the Birds of Chile, an authoritative yet portable field guide to Chile's birds. He recently wrote the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of California. Alvaro writes the “Identify Yourself” column in Bird Watcher's Digest. He also runs a birding and nature tour company Alvaro's Adventures, where the focus is to have fun, learn a thing or two, and truly enjoy nature. Alvaro lives with his family in Half Moon Bay, California.

Field Trips & Workshops

Our festival is located in an amazingly diverse area, with habitats that include rivers and wetlands, sweeping plains and grasslands, rolling foothills, sheltered canyons and mountain peaks. Attendees can choose from over 60 field trips and workshops that are sure to please a wide variety of interests and ability levels. In addition to numerous bird-watching field trips for waterfowl, raptors and songbirds, you might choose to take a guided tour of a nature preserve, visit a local vineyard, or hike the scenic Sutter Buttes in search of lofty views and resident wildlife. Our workshops offer something for everyone! Learn about nature photography, bird carving, how to record nature sounds, how to identify those backyard birds, and much more. Free nature activities are offered for youth, as well as armchair adventures for all.

If you have any questions, you can reach us at info@snowgoosefestival.org, or by calling the Festival Office at 530-345-1865.


Festival Events

Field Trips


Free Events

Youth Activities


Art Exhibit & Reception

Food Vendor

Festival FaceBook Activity