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Snow Goose Festival – Chico California

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

 Snow Goose Festival

The 16th Annual .Snow Gooses Festival is organized by Altacal Audubon Society.  This year there will be over 60 field trips,and workshops along with an art show.  The workshops and field trips are varied youth, beginner birders and experience birders will all find several field trips and or workshops suited to their interest and experience level.

Dates:  Jan. 21st – Jan. 25th

Pacific Flyway

photo by Steve McDonald

photo by Steve McDonald


The Snow Goose Festival is situated in one of the greatest migratory pathways in the entire world, the Pacific Flyway.  This flyway stretches from the Bering Strait on the coast of Alaska to the steeps at Patagonia in South America.

The Northern Sacramento Valley has some of the most accessible viewing areas on this migratory pathway.  Tens of Thousands Snow Geese choose to winter in the Sacramento Valley.  Close to one and half million use the Pacific Flyway.


The Snow Goose Festival is an annual event held in Chico, Ca each winter.  This year the event will run from Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 25th.  The mission of the festival is to celebrate the Snow Geese and to increase public awareness, understanding, appreciation and the conservation of the incredible wildlife and related habitats of the Northern Sacramento Valley.


Photo by Steve McDonald

Photo by Steve McDonald

Online registration is available until Wed. Jan. 21st.  Please visit  the Snow Goose Festival website to check for open field trips.  A few of the trips still open are; Marathon Big Birding Day in Colusa County, Marathon Big Birding Day in Butte County, Bidwell’s Yah Trail, Winter Raptors on the Sacramento Refuge Fly-off to name a few.

Another open field trip that is not entirely focused on birding is the Birds and Rice Growers tour which is on Friday.  The tour will include the rice drying operations at the plant in Richvale.

Special field trips to areas that are not always open to the general public include; Rancho Esquon,  and Dye Creek Preserve.

Rancho Esquon is a working ranch and it is common to see Sandhill Cranes during the winter months on the ranch.  Dye Creek Preserve is in Eastern Tehama County.  Lewis’s Woodpecker, Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Quail, Ferruginous Hawk, Bald and Golden Eagle are all common.

The bird carving, Gardens as Habitat, and photography workshops are still open.  You do not have to be a “birder” to enjoy these workshops.

Field trips and workshops range in prices from 8 dollars to 45 dollars.

Youth Oriented Programs

kids snow goose 2


On Sat. and Sunday several workshops are designed especially for youth at the Chico Masonic Family Center.  Smokey the Bear and the Blue Goose will be making an appearance.  Children can earn a Junior Ranger Badge and a Junior Naturalist Certificate.



Steve Zachery from Lassen Volcanic National Park with  be leading a workshop on Sunday 11:00 am – 12:30 pm which will teach children how to identify the four major types of volcanoes.  If you have not visited Lassen Park it is worth adding to your list of National Parks to visit.  Lassen Park is the only National Park in the U.S. that has all four types of volcanoes within park boundaries.

Lassen Park is home to 216 species of birds.  The park is part of several monitoring programs and a bird banding station.  Bird list for Lassen Park.


  Art Show

snow goose art

Fifty-five artists have submitted work to be on display at the Avenue 9 Gallery at 180 E. Ninth and The Esplande.  Artwork will be on display from Jan. 16th- February 7th.  There will be a free reception on Jan. 23rd from 5- 8 pm.

List of artists displaying their work.



If you have a few extra days in the area, plan a stay at the St. Bernard Lodge.  St. Bernard Lodge is about one hour north of Chico and 20 minutes from the SW entrance of Lassen Park.  St. Bernard Lodge is also about 40 minutes from the Bizz Johnson Trail which is a California Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area.  Bizz Johnson Trail is home to 100 bird species.

Learn about the Amazing Birds of Lassen Volcanic National Park

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

June 21st and 22nd

nesting birds

Join Dr. Roger Lederer at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center Friday June 21st from 4-5 pm.  Dr. Lederer will be presenting a power point presentation which is open to all that are interested in attending at no charge.  The lecture will be an introduction to both the birds of Lassen Volcanic National Park and interesting and amazing adaptions of birds. Background and books by Dr. Lederer.


This program targets local community members and visitors who have basic or no knowledge of birds.  This is your opportunity to learn from Dr. Lederer.

bird lassen

Saturday morning meet at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee visitor center at 8:30am.  Dr. Lederer will be leading a guided walk of the Mill Creek Falls Trail.  This walk will last until approximately 10:15 am.  There is a $25 fee for the guided walk.  Group size is limited to 15 participants.  A second session will be scheduled at 10:30 am if needed.


bird lassen 2


Please direct questions or register with Melanie Allen at 530-378-1495 or online at

Bring your camera, you may just get the perfect shot for the 2014 Lassen Volcanic National Park photo contest.  You may also want binoculars and bird guide.

Please contact St. Bernard Lodge at 530-258-3382 for dining or lodging options.  St. Bernard Lodge is offering a 15.00 dinner voucher at the lodge for any guests staying at the lodge and attending the guided walk of Mill Creek Falls with Dr. Lederer.