Heading farther east on Highway 37 toward Mare Island in Vallejo, birders and wetlands enthusiasts can come in for a landing at the Ninth Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival from January 21 to 23. The free festival celebrates the annual migration of over a million shorebirds and waterfowl through the Bay Area and offers visitors of all ages and skill levels opportunities to learn about marsh ecology and natural history.
The 5,657-acre former Naval Shipyard and National Historic Landmark on Mare Island boasts 3,075 acres of tidal and nontidal wetlands that provide wintering habitat for thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl and year-round refuge for other marsh-dependent birds, including the San Pablo song sparrow and endangered California clapper rail.
The festival features hands-on children’s activities, a self-guided birding walk on Mare Island, indoor exhibits and lectures, and guided tours of wetlands and historic sites. Bring warm clothing, binoculars, and snacks. Waterproof footwear is advised for some sites. The festival is a project of Arc Ecology and is cosponsored by dozens of local Bay Area environmental groups and businesses. Call (707)557-9816 or visit www.sfbayflywayfestival.com for more information.