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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 314

Cosumnes River Preserve featured during first Galt Winter Bird FestivalBinoculars were recommended, for viewing the many types of birds on the ground and on the wing

Ducks, geese and cranes, oh my. 

Those species and many others were the highlight of Galt’s first Winter Bird Festival Saturday.
Misty Bell, a Galt businesswoman who coordinated the Bird Festival, told the Lodi News-Sentinel that the highlight for many visitors was the bus tours to the Cosumnes River Preserve.
Harry McQuillen, BLM’s preserve manager, estimated around 240 people took bus tours of the preserve, with additional festival-goers participating in other events.
The goal of the Winter Bird Festival was to show more than the sandhill crane -- which is the name of Lodi's annual three-day festival in October -- because there are many other types of birds and waterfowl in the Galt area. These include geese, ducks, swans, peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks and the yellow-billed magpie, said Galt resident David Yee in the News-Sentinel. He gave visitors to Chabolla Community Center an overview about migratory birds in the Galt area and the preserve.

The preserve is home to California's largest remaining valley oak riparian forest, and is one of the few protected wetland habitat areas in the state. The Cosumnes River is the only free-flowing river left in California's Central Valley. Only minutes from California's capital, this is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Over 200 species of birds have been sighted on or near the Preserve, including the State-listed threatened Swainson hawk, greater and lesser sandhill cranes, Canada geese and numerous ducks. The preserve includes 40,000 acres of central valley grasslands, vernal pools, wetlands and valley oak forests.

Visitors with a bird identification chart check out more information at a kiosk on the Preserve

While some people set out on, and return from the trail...
While some set out on the trail, or return from bird viewing...
...others have their own priorities:
While adults converse of spot birds through binoculars, this little girl is more interested in sticking her foot into a mud puddle

Taking advantage of one of the indoor activities, this brown-paper-costumed "official bird watcher" examines a well-lit specimen through a microscope:
Boy in brown paper waterfolw outfit looks at a lit specimen through a microscope

 Cosumnes River Preserve manager Harry McQuillen poses for a photographic memento, with grandson Cooper Renshaw:
Consumes River Preserve manager Harry McQuillen with grandson dressed in a brown paper "official bird watcher" outfit

- D. Christy, 1/14/08

BLM California News.bytes, issue 314

Last updated: 01-16-2008