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Winging it in Galt

California Rice Commission January 30, 2012 California Rice Commission 0 comments
By Jim Morris, California Rice Commission Communications Manager

Some of the best things to see in Northern California this time of the year are straight overhead.   So many times, our family will stop our activity to look overhead and marvel at a cackling V formation of Canada Geese or catch a glimpse of a large flock of migrating Sandhill Cranes way off in the stratosphere.

For a fun weekend trip, we checked out the Galt Winter Bird Festival at McCaffrey Middle School, a short drive south of Sacramento off of Highway 99.


Our day started off before sunrise, with wife Leslie joining 40 nature loving photographers on a behind the scenes tour of the Cosumnes River Preserve. Leslie was able to use a ginormous 600-millimeter lens provided by Canon and got this shot of Sandpipers in all of their jubilance.


The festival was well run and included something for all ages. Corky Quirk from NorCalBats  provided a lot of interesting information about bats in the Sacramento Valley, a really cool and underappreciated mammal.


There were two different displays to learn about keeping our watersheds clean, plus wildlife artists with their works on display and a fun exhibit where you could dissect an owl pellet and learn more about their diet.


Speakers including Monica Iglecia of Audubon California and Khara Strum of PRBO Conservation Science, who addressed the important role Sacramento Valley rice fields play in maintaining healthy shorebird populations.


Add in interactive duck call lessons from Ducks Unlimited, art and crafts booths and a faux campfire to make your own complimentary S’mores and it was a fun and full day.  Best of all this is a free event, so keep next year’s Galt Winter Bird Festival in mind, or the extremely popular Snow Goose Festival in Chico.  Our organization is pleased to sponsor these festivals, as they are an important way for nature lovers to unite and celebrate how blessed we are to have those wondrous flocks of birds right in our backyard!


Jim Morris is Communications Manager for the California Rice Commission.  Jim has worked in communications for more than 20 years.  When he’s not on the job, he enjoys his family, faith, football, outrageous monster stories and running marathons