Festival News

Save the Date!
The 18th Annual Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway
Chico, CA
January 25 – 29, 2017

This action-packed 5-day event celebrates the remarkable journey of millions of waterfowl and raptors along the Pacific Flyway that call the Northern Sacramento Valley their home during the winter months.

Registration Begins in Early December

We highly recommend getting on our email list as soon as possible. Emails will go out to notify you when Registration opens, of various deadlines, and changes and additions to the program along the way. You can follow us on Facebook, too!

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

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 Triips & 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.


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