The View from the Classroom Window

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FYI: Monterey Bay Birding Festival

July 14, 2011                                                                        
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       
Contact:  Christina Glynn, 831.425.1234 ext.112
Photography available upon request

SEPTEMBER 22-25, 2011

On-line registration now available for events, presentations, outings

WATSONVILLE, CA – Are you ready to join the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the United States?  This fall, the Watsonville-based seventh Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival will take place Thursday, September 22nd through Sunday, September 25, 2011.  

The festival offers expert-led field trips, specialized birding outings for beginners, “slough safaris” of the Elkhorn Slough via kayak and pontoon boat, a pelagic trip on the Monterey Bay to view sea birds, a trip to Pinnacles National Monument, vagrant chasing at the Carmel River mouth, pelagic trips of the Monterey Bay, excursions to the Ventana Wildlife Society’s Discovery Center at Andrew Molera State Park in scenic Big Sur and other activities.  A stellar line-up of expert birders leading day trips as well as evening presenters are sure to please even the most discriminating birders.  This year’s theme, The Evolution of Birding - From Field Guides to Hi-Tech will celebrate the bygone days of John James Audubon to the modern days of hi-tech innovations in birding.

On Thursday evening, a special presentation by birder and naturalist Steve Shunk will explore The Names, Namers, and Naming of North America Birds.  On Friday and Saturday evenings, the popular Owls of Robinson Canyon excursions will take birders on a search for Great Horned Owls, Spotted Owls, Western Screech-Owls, Northern Pygmy-Owls, Northern Saw-whet Owls and other types of this mysterious and nocturnal bird.

The Santa Cruz County Visitors Council’s free Birding and Wildlife Watching guide will be available during the festival.  The 44-page guide is designed for use by visitors to communities adjacent to the many birding destinations throughout the county.  The guide includes information on a variety of habitats, from sandy beaches to lagoons, wetlands and river mouths, as well as descriptions and photographs of the some of the area’s most commonly seen birds, wildlife and the best times of the year to view them. It also provides maps of birding and wildlife hotspots, points of interest, and itineraries.  According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 31 percent of Americans engage in wildlife watching as a hobby or recreational activity, an increase of 13 percent from a decade ago.

The free guide is also available at the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council’s main visitor center at 303 Water Street #100 in Santa Cruz, via mail by request, or by calling 800.833.3494.

Registration can be done on-line at or via mail.  Registration is available for the entire festival, individual days or select evening activities.   The registration fee for the four-day festival is $40; one-day registration is also available and pricing for a variety of activities starts at $10.    

The Birding Festival Web site, provides a registration and ticketing, full festival schedule, description of events, and other information. Visitors can log on to help plan their trip.   

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