Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 3, 2011

California Birding and Wildlife Festival Calendars

Bird and Wildlife Festival Calendar

(click on individual festival name for this year’s dates and details)

Galt Winter Bird Festival

Generally occurs: Late January
Location: McCaffrey Middle Schoo, 997 Park Terrace Drive, Galt, CA 95632
Address: 380 Civic Drive,Galt, 95632
Birds to See: Birds and habitat native to the Cosumnes River Preserve and Pacific Coast Flyway.

Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway

Generally occurs: Late January
Location: Chico, CAlifornia
Address: P. O. Box 1063 Chico, 95927
Description: Our 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. FIELD TRIPS * WORKSHOPS * ACTIVITIES * ART SHOW * BANQUET & SILENT AUCTION Choose from over 70 field trips and workshops that are sure to appeal to a wide variety of interests. Free nature activities are offered for youth as well as armchair adventures for all. View impressive art at our Wildlife Art Exhibit and join us for our ” Gathering of Wings” Banquet & Silent Auction, Saturday night.

Owens Lake Bird Festival

Generally occurs: Late April
Location: Owens Lake California
Address: Lone Pine Film History Museum 701 S. Main St. Lone Pine, 93545
Description: The diverse wildlands of the Eastern Sierra are a national treasure, known and loved by many as a vast, undeveloped paradise of grand vistas, endless ridges to wander, peaks to climb, sly trout to catch, and unending silence to enjoy. This “land of little rain,” nestled between the majestic Sierra Nevada and the enigmatic White-Inyo Mountains, is home to over 35% of California’s native species and some of the most spectacular scenery in the West.

Godwit Days Spring Migration Festival

Generally occurs: Late April
Location: Redwood Coast/Humboldt Co., California
Address: Godwit Days, PO Box 4978, Arcata, CA 95518 Arcata, 95521
Description: This festival is as diverse as the hundreds of its shorebird species and famous redwood forest inhabitants. It is designed for everyone from continent-jumping “listers” to the casual birder and nature enthusiast. See our website for registration details (
Generally occurs: Late April
Location: Marin and Sonoma Counties
Address: PO Box 609 Point Reyes Station, 94956
Description: Point Reyes National Seashore provides the backdrop for our festival, where the Pacific Flyway, Pacific Ocean, and other influences provide an ideal location for birding and wildlife viewing. In fact, the area was named the #1 birding hotspot in 2017, where over 54% of all North American bird species have been recorded. Over the three day weekend attendees choose from 50+ educational field outings and classroom-based events based in Marin and Sonoma counties, and focused on birds, wildlife, plants and marine life + hiking, biking, kayaking, art and field photography, and led by some of the Bay Area’s award-winning naturalists and birders. The festival engages birders, artists, and nature lovers by providing quality birding and nature experiences and workshops. Our experienced guides have extensive knowledge of birds and the habitat unique to Marin-Sonoma counties. The festival is open to a variety of ages and experience levels. Additionally, the festival features Friday and Saturday evening programs with keynote speakers to for adults to meet, mingle, eat, drink and enjoy keynote presentations by top biologists and naturalists! Learn more:

Lake Tahoe Bird Festival

Generally occurs: Early June
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Address: South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Description: Every year, TINS partners with the U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and many other agencies, organizations, and businesses, to bring the Lake Tahoe Bird Festival to Tahoe. The event is one of hundreds of International Migratory Bird Day festivals celebrated throughout the Americas. The festival will teach the Tahoe community about the incredible journey that migratory birds take each year. They travel thousands of miles between their breeding grounds and winter habitats! This is a day to support and increase awareness of conservation efforts while enjoying family-fun outdoor activities.

Western Field Ornithologists’ Annual Conference

Generally occurs: Mid-August
Location: Marriott Convention Center, 320 Central Main Street, Pueblo, CO 81003
Address: 3476 Armourdale Ave. Ventura, 90808

Lake Almanor Grebe Festival

Generally occurs: Late August
Location: Almanor Recreation Center, Lake Almanor, Chester CA
Address: Chester, 96020
Description: Lake Almanor is the place to be as we celebrate the extraordinary “dancing” grebes with our annual Grebe Festival centered in Chester, CA. Western and Clark’s Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis and A. clarkii) nest on Lake Almanor which is considered an Important Bird Area by National Audubon and which has grown in its importance as a breeding site for these grebes in recent years as drought has caused loss of nesting habitat elsewhere. Late August is a great time to view the grebes as they are still nesting on the lake in colonies, racing across the water in their incredible “rushing” displays, and when some babies are hatching and climbing aboard their parents’ backs. Kayak and pontoon fieldtrips will allow festival-goers to get an up-close (but not too close!) look at nesting grebes. A variety of other fieldtrips around the Lake Almanor basin and Lassen National Park will be sure to satisfy! For more information, please visit

Birding the Valley

Generally occurs: Late September
Location: Sonora Pass and Antelope Valley in Mono County
Address: P.O. Box 603 Mammoth Lakes, 93546
Description: This event offers guided bird watching, wildlife viewing and exploration of the spectacular Eastern Sierra. Learn about the unique and scenic ecosystems of Sonora Pass and the Antelope Valley in northern Mono County, located on US Highway 395 about 80 miles south of Reno, 97 miles east of Sonora, CA and 86 miles north of Mammoth Lakes. For birding enthusiasts and hikers alike, this event is an ideal opportunity to learn more about the fascinating natural environments that range from the Walker River to the high desert and mountains, which are home to – or a migratory stop for -over 120 species of birds.

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Generally occurs: Late September
Location: Watsonville Civic Plaza, 275 Main Street, Watsonville, CA
Address: 275 Main Street Watsonville, 95076
Description: The Monterey Bay Birding Festival is home to one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife venues in North America. September marks the peak of fall migration, with wintering shorebirds arriving en masse. Warblers and other passerines as well as wintering ducks and other waterfowl are in abundance. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to see more than 250 species in one of the world’s greatest environments.

Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival

Generally occurs: Early November
Location: Hutchins Street Square, Lodi
Address: PO Box 1616 Lodi, 95241
Description: Tours, workshops, art show, exhibit hall. The best festival in northern CA!

California Swan Festival

Generally occurs: Mid-November
Location: Cal Trans District 3, Marysville CA
Address: 1300 Franklin Rd Yuba City, 95993

Description: The only one of its kind on the west coast of the United States, and celebrating the abundant local and migratory wildfowl of the Northern Sacramento Valley, the California Swan Festival offers workshops, presentations, guided tours and educational programs catering to bird and nature enthusiasts of all ages and levels of interest. The California Swan Festival is timed to honor the return of the tundra swans to their winter home. Arriving in the tens of thousands and in close-knit family groups, they make a spectacular show for bird watchers and photographers.Please note: the 2017 California Swan Festival has been canceled. Check the website ( to see dates in future years.)

Central Valley Birding Symposium

Generally occurs: Mid-November
Location: Stockton Hilton Hotel, 2323 Grand Canal Blvd., Stockton, CA 95207
Address: Stockton Hilton Hotel Stockton, 95207
Description: The Great Central Valley, in the heart of California and the Pacific Flyway, is uniquely situated for excellent birding. Join us to celebrate the best of birding in the Central Valley! The 4-day symposium features speakers, workshops, field trips and a Birder’s Market with optics, art and gifts for sale. There is something for everyone! For a checklist of birds, see:


Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society   (best list of California Birding Festivals)

See California  (California Birding Festivals)

California Watchable Wildlife (California wildlife)

Everfest (global list of wildlife festivals)

If you are aware of a festival that is not mentioned here please submit a comment.


  1. […] have just updated the 2019 California Birding Festival Schedule on Natural History Wanderings. It includes Birding Festivals in California and nearby for January […]


  2. […] California Bird and Nature Festival Calendar […]


  3. […] I have updated the 2016 bird and nature festival calendar on Natural History Wanderings. You can see it California Birding and Nature Festival Calendar […]


  4. Wrong date for Monterey? I think they have now posted for September 25-28, 2014.


    • Thanks for the correction. I have updated the calendar with the correct dates.


  5. […] California Bird and Nature Festival Calendar […]


  6. […] Festivals are also posted in birding section at:  California Bird and Nature Festival Calendar […]


  7. […] I have just updated the California Birding Festival page in the Birding Section of Natural History Wandering. You can see a list of 2013 Birding festival for California at: California Bird and Nature Festival Calendar. […]


  8. Thank you so much for this!

    One wish I have is if you could figure out how to host this as an ical subscription for all of our digital calendars. What a time saver that would be(except for you I guess :p )


    • Sounds like a good idea but I have no idea how to do that. If you find out, I would be glad to share the information.


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