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Field Trips for Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bird the Shores of Black Butte Lake - Sold Out!

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

Situated on the west side of the upper Sacramento Valley, Black Butte Lake is surrounded by beautiful dark volcanic buttes. Come explore the backwaters and woodlands this lake has to offer and see Pied-billed Grebes, Clark’s and Western Grebes, Belted Kingfisher, Bonaparte's Gulls, and goldeneyes. Stop along the roads and see Wild Turkeys, Mountain Bluebirds, Red-tailed Hawks, and Turkey Vultures. Lewis’s Woodpeckers, Golden Eagles, and Bald Eagles winter in this area too. Bring a lunch and drink.

Field Trip Leader: Lindsay McDonnell

Sutter Buttes Hike -- Mid-Mountain - Sold Out!

$45 Adult ; $30 Youth
7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Meet at Gridley McDonalds
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

On this 5-mile hike into the Sutter Buttes, we’ll visit secluded locations revealing the Buttes' geologic formation, Native American presence, old pioneer home sites, and ecology typical of California's past. This hike is moderately brisk. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, dress in layers, and bring lunch and water. No early departures on this trip. Be aware that you will be driving another 12-15 miles to the hike's starting point from the meeting place at the McDonald's in Gridley.

Field Trip Leaders: Marty Steidlemayer and Mike Hubbartt

Sutter Buttes Hike -- Summit Ascent - Sold Out!

$45 Adult ; $30 Youth
7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Meet at Gridley McDonalds
A true adventure trip, lots of driving and hiking

This hike traverses essentially the same terrain as the Mid-Mountain Hike but adds an additional half-mile 1000 ft. elevation gain. The last half-mile is quite strenuous. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, dress in layers, and bring lunch and water. No early departures on this trip. Be aware that you will be driving another 12-15 miles to the hike's starting point from the meeting place at the McDonald's in Gridley.

Field Trip Leaders: Marty Steidlemayer and Mike Hubbartt

Beginning Birding by Ear - Sold Out!

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
7:45 am - 11:00 am
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

The skill of identifying birds by their vocalizations adds a wonderful new level of enjoyment to any outdoor outing. Join avid ear-birder Mauricio Schrader for a morning of listening to and learning some audio clues for identifying bird songs and calls in the field. Some listening and recording equipment used in Greg Weddig's Soundscapes workshop will be along on this trip. Participants may wish to take the Soundscapes of California Workshop on Saturday at 9am at the Chico Masonic Family Center that compliments this field trip.

Field Trip Leaders: Greg Weddig and Mauricio Schrader

Birds & Trees of Butte Creek Ecological Preserve - Sold Out!

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
More vigorous hiking, some elevation gain/loss

We will explore the native trees, shrubs, and birds of Butte Creek. Butte Creek Canyon is stunning with its Tuscan Volcanic Formations. This is a 3-4 mile intermediate hike along the creek (and over some logs) down to the pond. Last year we enjoyed Red-breasted Sapsucker, Wood Ducks, goldeneye, Great Horned Owl, and assorted warblers. We also had many goose and duck fly-overs. Otters and beavers may also be seen. Wear sturdy shoes/boots and bring water, and snacks.

Field Trip Leaders: Andy Tomaselli and Joseph O'Neil

Nature Journaling & the NorCal Naturalist Journal - Still Open

$32 Adult ; $20 Youth
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

We will spend about an hour talking about keeping lists, keeping notes, turning those notes into stories, posting, blogging, field sketching, etc. We will then spend the remainder of our time out in the field doing some actual journaling. A copy of the NorCal Naturalist Journal is included in the price of this event.

Field Trip Leader: Scott Huber

Rio Vista, Woodson Bridge & Olive Tour - Sold Out!

$27 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Winter birds, the river, and olives! What a combination to experience and only at the Snow Goose Festival. First, join Dave as he takes you to the Rio Vista Unit of Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex and the Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area to search for the winter birds that take advantage of these healthy habitat areas along the Sacramento River. You’ll hike a 2-mile flat trail through the Rio Vista Unit in riparian woodland and stroll through towering oaks, sycamores, and cottonwoods at the Woodson Bridge SRA. These places are a winter haven to Bald Eagles, woodpeckers, thrushes, sparrows, wrens, finches, and owls. Then after your morning of birding, take the short trip into Corning to the Lucero Olive Oil’s tasting room (www.lucerooliveoil.com). Once there you will be given a mill tour and have the opportunity to taste several of their award-winning olive oils and their unique olive oil ice cream sundae. Wear good walking/hiking shoes, and bring lunch, water, and binoculars.

Field Trip Leaders: Dave Tinker and David O'Keefe

Bidwell Park Bird Walk with Scott Weidensaul - Sold Out!

$15 Adult ; $8 Youth
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Enjoy a bird walk through Bidwell Park with ornithologist and author of Birds of Bidwell Park, Roger Lederer. Learn amazing facts about the birds of the park and how to identify them. Bidwell Park is a wonderful place to see birds because it is both semi-wild and very accessible. It is excellent birding for both the beginner and expert. This trip is also offered on Friday. Friday's trip is led by Roger and his wife, Carol Burr.

Field Trip Leaders: Roger Lederer and Scott Weidensaul

Llano Seco Viewing Platform -- Dabbling, Diving & Soaring - Sold Out!

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat Wheelchair accessible

The Llano Seco Unit of the Sacramento River NWR offers sensational views from an elevated viewing platform. This is an ideal spot for viewing a large number of geese and ducks in one location! Other often-seen species include Sandhill Cranes, raptors, herons, and egrets. This is definitely a birding hot spot and a good trip for the beginning birder. This trip is also offered on Saturday.

Field Trip Leader: Shelly Kirn

Birding & Brunch in Paradise! - Sold Out!

$35 Adult ; $15 Youth
8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Here is an opportunity to see the birds of Paradise and enjoy a sumptuous brunch all in one trip. We will leisurely walk along the Historic Miocene Flume. The flume trail is gravel and there are no catwalks over the flume. Here we should see towhees, thrush, woodpeckers, finches, sparrows, titmice, and raptors flying above. Then we will travel up the ridge to enjoy our brunch at the Wulbern's beautiful home where we can overlook the valley and watch the activity at their bird feeders. We will end the day in parks around Paradise, where we hope to see Western Bluebirds, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Steller's Jays, Red-breasted Nuthatch, resident hawks, and an assortment of other birds and wildlife. A similar trip is also offered on Saturday with different leaders.

Field Trip Leaders: Mary Muchowski and Matt Forster

Falcons & Falconry - Still Open

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
8:45 am - 11:00 am
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

On this field trip, you will have the opportunity to see falconry in action. Falconry is a traditional method of hunting with trained birds of prey. The field trip will begin with a short drive to a large open area. Falconry as a field sport will be discussed and equipment of this ancient art form will be displayed, along with live raptors. The trip will culminate with a live flying raptor display.

Field Trip Leaders: Tom Savory and Steve Kasprzyk

Oxidation Ponds & Indian Fishery - Sold Out!

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

This field trip will visit two of Chico’s best birding sites. First we will explore the Oxidation Ponds Wildlife Sanctuary at the City of Chico Wastewater Treatment Plant. We’ll spend a couple of hours walking the levees around the ponds where we hope to find many species of migrating waterfowl as well as resident birds and mammals. We will then go over to the Indian Fishery Day Use Area of Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park. There the half-mile trail winds through an oak woodland forest adjacent to an oxbow lake. Woodpeckers abound along with many other woodland and aquatic birds. If we are lucky we may also see River Otter, Beaver, and Pond Turtles. Bring binoculars.

Field Trip Leaders: Mike Fisher and Nancy Nelson

Rancho Esquon - Sold Out!

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Just a short drive outside Durham, along the roadways bordering Rancho Esquon, multitudes of Snow Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, and Sandhill Cranes can usually be seen right from your vehicle! Bald Eagles are occasionally spotted perched in the snags along the agricultural wetlands. Upon arrival at Rancho Esquon, we will visit the viewing platform which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding wetlands with a high concentration of ducks. We will also be visiting the egg hatching facility as we learn about the diverse undertakings of this complex rice ranch. This trip is also offered on Thursday with a different leader.

Field Trip Leader: Shane Romain

2nd Annual Chico Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids in January - Still Open

$5 Youth
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Come participate in citizen science and learn more about our local birds! The Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4K) is a yearly event all over North America, taking place in December and January. Starting at the Chico Creek Nature Center, we’ll have a binocular boot camp and hike orientation. CBC4K group leaders will guide families in the identification and counting of birds. During your 90-minute hike around Bidwell Park, you’re likely to see woodpeckers, hummingbirds, hawks, and many more birds that are common in the Park. After collecting data, kids will share their experiences at lunchtime over pizza. The results will become part of a database that scientists can look at to see how the birds in our area are doing. How many birds can you find?

Open to youth ages 9-15. Youth who attend as a group need to be accompanied by at least one adult. There is no charge for adults. Pizza and drinks are included. Some binoculars and bird guidebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own.

Field Trip Leaders: Jon Aull and David Samuels

Wing-It to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge - Sold Out!

$22 Adult ; $10 Youth
12:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Meet at Chico Masonic Family Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

The "winging-it" part of this trip is where the fun starts! We’ll veer off the beaten path as we bird along our way to the refuge. At the refuge we’ll view the dioramas and pick-up a wildlife checklist. Then we are off to a leisurely adventure around the auto tour loop to possibly see thousands of birds. You can expect to see Snow Geese, Northern Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Ring-necked Duck, wigeon, raptors, and possibly a Bald Eagle.

Field Trip Leader: Michael Denega

Owl Banding Presentation, Survey, & Field Trip with guest Scott Weidensaul - Sold Out!

$30 Adult ; $15 Youth
3:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Meet at Chico Creek Nature Center
Walking, could involve distance but largely flat

Dawn will begin with a discussion of the elusive Northern Saw-whet Owl that migrates into the Sierra Nevada foothills predictably every autumn. She will share 10 years of migration data from one of the few Northern Saw-whet Owl banding stations in western North America. Then we will travel to Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve east of Chico to attempt to capture, band, and release these owls by using mist nets and an audio lure. We also hope to detect Western Screech, Northern Pygmy, and Great Horned Owls by their calls. Bring headlamps or flashlights, chairs, warm clothes, cameras, snacks, and/or hot drinks. Rain and/or high winds cancel this event only. Once this event is sold out, anyone is welcome to attend Dawn’s presentation at the Chico Creek Nature Center for free, but only those who have registered for this event will continue on to the reserve for banding.

Field Trip Leaders: Dawn Garcia and Scott Weidensaul