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Sandhill Crane Festival

November 4-6 · Hutchins Street Square · Lodi, CA

November 4-6, 2016

Hutchins Street Square · Lodi, CA

800-581-6150 · info@cranefestival.com

Tour Descriptions and Schedule

Join us November 4-6, 2016 for the 20th annual Sandhill Crane Festival.

2016 Tour Registration will open online early September.

We will be posting other 2016 Festival information as it becomes available through early September

 

Below is a list of tours from 2015 that remain for your reference only.

New tours for 2016 will be posted early September when online registration opens.

Bacchus and Birds

NEW!  This tour is at the recently opened family-friendly Durst Winery in Acampo.  But don’t be fooled – the spacious grounds abound with mature trees, shrubs and perennials that have been “home” to a wide variety of resident and migrating birds for decades.  As you saunter about this very relaxing Gatsby-like environment with a complimentary glass of Cassandra’s vintage, local birding experts will challenge (and assist) you to complete (and even expand) the bird list crafted especially for this tour.  Bring your lunch, but be prepared to share it with Jack the friendliest winery and bird dog ever!  For more about the winery, visit www.durstwinery.com

Sunday at 11:50 a.m. (#40)

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Car

Adult: $25 - Youth: $15 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Sunday at 11:50 a.m. (#40)250Full

Bird Carving Workshop for Beginners

Join master carvers from the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association to learn how to carve a bird from wood.  All the necessary materials, including a study guide and carving knives will be provided.  Short lectures with lots of hands-on carving time will enable you to complete a life-size Greater Yellowlegs.  There is a $25 online registration fee.  Register early as class size is limited to 8.  Suitable for ages 14 and older.  1:40 to 5:30 Sunday.

Sunday at 1:40 (#102)

Adult: $25 - Youth: $25 - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 N/A N/A
Sunday at 1:40 (#102)80Full

Birding Hot Spots

Leave the driving to us!  Join local birding experts on this ever-popular tour that seeks and finds numerous resident and wintering birds in different habitats around the area.  Visit old growth riparian habitat, farm fields, and local ponds in another attempt to beat the record of 67 species.  There will be short walks at each stop.  Dress in layers and don’t forget your binoculars!  Water and snacks are also recommended.

Saturday at 6:30 a.m. (#5)

Sunday at 7:00 a.m. (#31)

Duration: 4 hours

Mini-bus

Adult: $30 - Youth: $20 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $20 Child: $10
Saturday at 6:30 a.m. (#5)2211
Sunday at 7:00 a.m. (#31)221

Birdwalk Through the Wilderness

This tour is for all skill levels!  Bring your binoculars and enjoy a leisurely walk on flat ground through the old growth riparian habitat at Lodi Lake Wilderness Area with Dale Smith.  Learn the basics or hone your skills in identifying the many birds that reside or frequent this outstanding area which is also home to other species, including deer, beaver, fox, possums, and turtles, to name only a few. 

Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (#8)

Sunday at 7:30 a.m. (#33)

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Car

Adult: $15 - Youth: $10 - Child: $5

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $15 Youth: $10 Child: $5
Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (#8)153
Sunday at 7:30 a.m. (#33)157

Cosumnes River Preserve

This tour has been one of the best kept secrets of past Festivals!  With experienced guides, you will explore  the beauty and vitality of the finest valley oak riparian forest and wetland habitat in California; viewing a wide variety of wildlife and bird species in this fabulous habitat,  including "loafing and playing" Sandhill cranes.  As the sun sets over Mt. Diablo and the Delta, you will be on-hand when the cranes start their fly-out AND their fly-in!   Jointly managed by nine private and government agencies, Cosumnes River Preserve is a key link on the Pacific Flyway.  Get the 'back story' as you learn why its management is considered a model in conservation partnerships.  For more about the Preserve visit  www.cosumnes.org.

Saturday at 2:40 p.m. (#21)

Sunday at 2:40 p.m. (#45)

Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes

Bus

Adult: $30 - Youth: $15 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Saturday at 2:40 p.m. (#21)340Full
Sunday at 2:40 p.m. (#45)380Full

Crane Fly-In

This tour takes center stage as the Festival highlight!  Sandhill cranes spend their days eating and lounging in the surrounding fields.  At dusk, in large groups that can number from several hundred to several thousand, they converge on the flooded fields to roost for the night.   Often this spectacle of flight, vocalization and ground activity, is back-dropped by stunning sunsets behind Mt. Diablo.   Experienced volunteer docents from the Department of Fish and Wildlife will share the natural history of the cranes.  Book this tour early as they always fill up fast!  [The cranes determine end times for evening tours.]

Friday at 3:20 p.m. (#3)

Saturday at 3:20 p.m. (#26)

Saturday at 3:25 p.m. (#27)

Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (#28)

Sunday at 3:20 p.m. (#50)

Duration: approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Bus

Adult: $30 - Youth: $15 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Friday at 3:20 p.m. (#3)440Full
Saturday at 3:20 p.m. (#26)342
Saturday at 3:25 p.m. (#27)330Full
Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (#28)340Full
Sunday at 3:20 p.m. (#50)3615

Crane Fly-In Staten Island

More fly-in opportunities!  Combine crane fly-in with birding Staten Island to learn what the birds already know--this is one of the best places in the Delta to spend the winter.  The fly-in here typically numbers into the hundreds with both greater and lesser Sandhill cranes. In addition, ducks, geese, tundra swans, great blue herons, egrets and white-tailed kites take advantage of what Staten has to offer.   Experienced docents will highlight the history of Staten Island and its partnership with Cosumnes River Preserve.

Friday at 3:00 p.m. (#1)

Saturday at 2:45 p.m. (#22)

Sunday at 2:45p.m. (#46)

Duration: Approximately 3 hours 15 minutes

Bus

Adult: $30 - Youth: $15 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Friday at 3:00 p.m. (#1)440Full
Saturday at 2:45 p.m. (#22)340Full
Sunday at 2:45p.m. (#46)3613

Crane Fly-In Woodbridge Ecological Reserve Shelter

Again, this tour will sell out early!  It has all of the excitement of the other fly-in tours in the area, but visitors will disembark the bus at the WER North Unit, where, in a smaller group, they will be treated to a presentation by the DFW docents and view the cranes (and other birds) from the comfort of the viewing shelter, which also contains maps, displays, and pictorials on the cranes and their habitats.  For more information about weekend tours to this location during the "Season of the Crane" visit:  www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/3/Crane-Tour

Friday at 3:10 p.m. (#2)

Saturday at 3:10 p.m. (#25)

Sunday at 3:10 p.m. (#49)

Duration: approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Bus

Adult: $35 - Youth: $20 - Child: $15

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $35 Youth: $20 Child: $15
Friday at 3:10 p.m. (#2)380Full
Saturday at 3:10 p.m. (#25)340Full
Sunday at 3:10 p.m. (#49)3616

Crane Roving

During the day Sandhill cranes may be vocalizing, feeding, dancing, flying or resting.  Often cranes "bounce" from one feeding field to another, offering a good opportunity to observe behaviors not seen at the evening fly-in.  Bright sunshine makes it easier to view their mud-stained wings and bright red forehead, as well as compare adults with juveniles, and Greater Sandhill cranes with Lesser Sandhill cranes.  Department of Fish and Wildlife docents will take you to them!  Learn about the natural history of the cranes and the lands they call their winter home.

Sunday at 8:45 a.m. (#37)

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Bus

Adult: $30 - Youth: $15 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Sunday at 8:45 a.m. (#37)3822

Cranes for Kids

Children are the focus of this special tour, but everyone is welcome.  Sit back and relax as the “wheels on the bus go round and round” taking you to the areas where cranes are " loafing" and eating.  There will be special entertainment and a fun "crane metaphor" quiz.  At the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve all will disembark and proceed on their own perilous migration, with everyone returning to the serenity and “safety” of the Reserve’s closed North Area Shelter for a rare walkabout opportunity. Bring lunch or snacks to enjoy on the bus.  Water will be provided.  To schedule school tours during the season visit: www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/3/Crane-Tour and email or phone the information number and leave a message.

Sunday at 12:05 p.m. (#42)

Duration: 3 hours

Bus

Adult: $15 - Youth: $1 - Child: $1

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $15 Youth: $1 Child: $1
Sunday at 12:05 p.m. (#42)301

Cruising with Captain Morgan's Delta Adventures

NEW!  Set sail from Tower Park Marina with Captain Frank Morgan, to explore the abundant birdlife along the Mokelumne and San Joaquin Rivers from the open, or fully enclosed, luxury of the 55-foot double-decked Rosemarie.   In addition to the onboard crew an experienced naturalist will help you identify birds and mammals as you glide by Staten, Tyler and Brannan Islands, and under the Mokelumne River Bridge. Bring a lunch or snack (no drinks) and relax with your favorite adult or soft beverage from the onboard no-host bar.   For more about Captain Morgan's Delta Adventures visit www.captainmorgansdeltaadventures.com  

Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (#12)

Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (#18)

Sunday at 8:30 a.m. (#36)

Sunday at 12:00 (#41)

Duration: 4 hours

Car

Adult: $55 - Youth: $45 - Child: $35

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $55 Youth: $45 Child: $35
Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (#12)3413
Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (#18)340Full
Sunday at 8:30 a.m. (#36)349
Sunday at 12:00 (#41)3421

Delta Birding Cruise

Cruise leisurely along the meandering waterways of the California Delta through prime Sandhill crane habitat.  The sky fills with cranes, swans, geese, and ducks, but don't forget to keep an eye on the banks for the many other birds and mammals that inhabit the Delta, Bring your binoculars and camera!  This tour ranks up there as one of the hardest tickets at the Festival to get your hands on!  Suitable for all ages, children are required to have parental supervision.  Boats have an open canopy, but always be prepared for the elements.  Docking from KOA/Tower Park Marina provides the opportunity to enjoy the restaurant and other amenities.  For more info about the marina visit www.towerparkresort.com

 

 

Saturday at 7:00 a.m (#6)

Saturday at 9:40 a.m. (#11)

Saturday at 12:20 p.m. (#16)

Saturday at 2:50 p.m. (#23)

Sunday at 7:10 a.m. (#32)

Sunday at 9:50 a.m. (#39)

Sunday at 12:20 p.m. (#43)

Sunday at 2:50 p.m. (#47)

Duration: 3 hours 10 minutes

Car

Adult: $45 - Youth: $25 - Child: $15

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $45 Youth: $25 Child: $15
Saturday at 7:00 a.m (#6)80Full
Saturday at 9:40 a.m. (#11)80Full
Saturday at 12:20 p.m. (#16)80Full
Saturday at 2:50 p.m. (#23)80Full
Sunday at 7:10 a.m. (#32)80Full
Sunday at 9:50 a.m. (#39)80Full
Sunday at 12:20 p.m. (#43)80Full
Sunday at 2:50 p.m. (#47)80Full

For the Birds! Eco-Friendly Winery Tour

Turner Road Vintners continues to be a destination highlight among Festival goers.  Its innovative eco-friendly water reclamation ponds have created a natural habitat for a variety of birds.  Get a free taste of their wine as you get a taste of the birding benefits found here.  Past participants comments voiced a desire for more time at this location...Here you go!  Come and enjoy!  Participants must be 21 years or older.

Saturday at 11:35 p.m. (#14)

Duration: 2 hour 15 minutes

Car

Adult: $25 - Youth: N/A - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 N/A N/A
Saturday at 11:35 p.m. (#14)154--

Kayak the Mokelumne River and Lodi Lake with Headwaters Kayak

Lodi Lake will again be at water's capacity this year, with the adjoining picturesque Mokelumne River gently flowing along, providing the rare opportunity for Crane Festival participants to enjoy a twilight kayaking trip on Saturday or an early morning trip on Sunday.  A great way to start or end your day!  Join Headwaters Kayak naturalist Bill Beckett as you look out for beavers, river otters and a wide variety of birds.  All kayaking equipment is provided including PFDs, so grab a water bottle and snack and let's go!  Although unlikely, always dress to get wet, including your electronic devices.  For more info on Headwaters and other local kayak activities go to http://www.headwaterskayak.com

Saturday at 2:15 p.m. (#20)

Sunday at 7:45 a.m. (#34)

Duration: 3 hours

Car

Adult: $40 - Youth: $35 - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $40 N/A N/A
Saturday at 2:15 p.m. (#20)152-
Sunday at 7:45 a.m. (#34)156-

Mokelumne River Rendezvous

Take a light morning hike along the upper Mokelumne River as it spills from Camanche Dam, with  birding experts Liz West and Joanne Katanic, who will share their knowledge about the local landscape and help you scout 35+ species including bluebirds, night herons, several woodpecker species, mergansers, osprey and other raptors.  And as an added treat, keep an eye out for spawning Chinook Salmon as they complete their journey from the Pacific Ocean! 

Saturday at 7:05a.m. (#7)

Duration: 3 hours 55 minutes

Car

Adult: $20 - Youth: $10 - Child: $5

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $20 Youth: $10 Child: $5
Saturday at 7:05a.m. (#7)207

Opening Night Dinner

This year, we will be offering a catered dinner to kick off the 19th annual Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival.  Join us for a gourmet Mexican buffet dinner Friday night, November 6th, as we honor this year's SCF Conservation Award receipient and hear a talk from Gary Ivey from the International Crane Foundation.

Our dinner will be catered by Ruben of Alebreijes Bistro.  Menu details can be found on our website home page.  Doors open at 6:00 with dinner at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $25 per person.  Seating is limited and reservations are required.  Please make your reservation by November 4th.  Hope to see you there!

Friday at 6:30 (#101)

Adult: $25 - Youth: $25 - Child: $25

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 Youth: $25 Child: $25
Friday at 6:30 (#101)1306

Paddle the Cosumnes River Preserve with Current Adventures Kayak

Join kayaking expert and owner of Current Adventures-Kayak School & Trips, Dan Crandall, as you paddle the calm waters of the Middle Slough at Cosumnes River Preserve.  Be on the lookout for wood duck, green and black-crowned heron, a variety of warblers, mallards and scrub jays.  You will see button bush and arroyo willows lining the waterways.  All kayaking equipment will be provided including PFDs.  This is a non-instructional tour and some kayaking experience is suggested.  Although unlikely, always dress to get wet, including your personal electronic devices.For more information about Current Adventures, visit:  www.currentadventures.com

Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (#17)

Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (#44)

Duration: 4 hours

Car

Adult: $45 - Youth: $40 - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $45 N/A N/A
Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (#17)1514-
Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (#44)1513-

Photographing Wild Birds with Jim Dunn

Jim Dunn is this year’s featured photographer and one of the Festival’s most popular presenters.  He says, “Birds in the wild are an intriguing subject for any photographer.  Making beautiful photographs of wild birds places requirements on the photographer and his or her equipment that are very different.“  Join Photographer Dunn in the field for this small group opportunity to discuss equipment options for wild bird photography, and learn (and practice) some of the key skills and techniques to get good photographs.  This is a companion tour to the workshop presentation scheduled from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Saturday morning.  The presentation is a prerequisite for this tour, and only those registered for this tour will be admitted to the presentation. 

Saturday at 2:05 p.m. (#19)

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Car

Adult: $50 - Youth: N/A - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $50 N/A N/A
Saturday at 2:05 p.m. (#19)120Full

Private Lives of Sandhill Cranes with Paul Tebbel

Back by popular demand! In the pre-dawn, with Paul Tebbel, one of the world’s foremost crane experts, you will be introduced to the sound of the cranes when they first awaken.  You will hear the purring of the adults letting the young know that all is well; and then the same youngsters later mimicking their parents’ dance-like movements, and calling with sounds that conjure up visions of a prehistoric California Delta.  Along the way, and in the lecture at Hutchins Street Square following the field trip, you will learn about the life history of “our” cranes, their behaviors, and why they return to the Delta region, every winter.  The closed lecture starts with refreshments and concludes with a great video to reinforce what you have viewed in the field.   This is a comprehensive program for beginners to experts.  Tour includes the book Private Lives of Cranes.

Saturday at 5:15 a.m. (#4)

Sunday at 5:15 a.m. (#29)

Duration: 4 hours

Minibus

Adult: $60 - Youth: N/A - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $60 N/A N/A
Saturday at 5:15 a.m. (#4)220Full
Sunday at 5:15 a.m. (#29)2213--

Raptors by Boat

This is the Festival’s most popular tour!  Enjoy your drive through the Sierra-Nevada foothills to Pardee Reservoir, where you will board the boat with EBMUD naturalists and biologists who will take you around the reservoir (which is closed to the public this time of year) to see early-arriving golden and bald eagles, as well as other raptors, including osprey, that frequent the area.  This boat tour also offers uncommon bird species not seen on other tours, including loons, grebes, mergansers, and bufflehead ducks.   Dress for the weather and bring your binoculars!  Learn more about Pardee Recreational Area by visiting www.pardeelakerecreation.com

Saturday at 8:15 a.m. (#10)

Saturday at 12:00 p.m. (#15)

Sunday at 8:15 a.m. (#35)

Duration: 4 hours 45 minutes

Car

Adult: $40 - Youth: $30 - Child: $20

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $40 Youth: $30 Child: $20
Saturday at 8:15 a.m. (#10)200Full
Saturday at 12:00 p.m. (#15)201
Sunday at 8:15 a.m. (#35)200Full

River Bird Walk, Wine Tasting and Picnic with David Yee

Tom and Carmela Hoffman are proud to host this tour to their Heritage Oak Winery.  Stroll picturesque vineyards and an old-growth riparian forest with renowned birder David Yee (who knows this area like his own home) to their private beach along the Mokelumne River.  There you will enjoy a wine tasting sponsored by Heritage Oak Winery and a delicious lunch from the popular Lodi Airport Cafe.  Participants will scan the vegetation and skies looking for species to add to the Winery's monthly list (and maybe even the Festival list).  If we are lucky, the hummingbird feeders will be buzzing with various species.  Lunch, wine, David Yee, and nature...what else is there?  Round trip walking is approximately 2.5 miles, so bring your walking shoes and binoculars.  For more about the winery, visit www.heritageoakwinery.com (must be 21).

Saturday at 10:05 a.m. (#13)

Duration: 3 hours 15 minutes

Car

Adult: $35 - Youth: N/A - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $35 N/A N/A
Saturday at 10:05 a.m. (#13)250Full

Sandhill Crane Conservation in the Delta with Gary Ivey

NEW! Habitat is the key to wildlife survival!  Join our keynote speaker from the International Crane Foundation, Gary Ivey, on an informative tour of the California Delta habitats that support the Sandhills (and other wintering waterfowl and wildlife).  There is no better way to see and learn about the local habitat and its birds, than with this noted national and California Delta expert - and when you leave the driving to us!  Bring your binoculars and a notebook, as you will hear facts here that you will not get anywhere else!  For further information about the ICF go to www.savingcranes.org

Saturday at 8:00 a.m. (#9)

Duration: 3 hours

Bus

Adult: $30 - Youth: $20 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $20 Child: $10
Saturday at 8:00 a.m. (#9)225

Sunset Leisure Cruise on Lodi Lake

A tranquil Lodi Lake and the meandering Mokelumne River provide the rare opportunity for Crane Festival participants to enjoy a leisurely sunset patio boat ride.  Join a local naturalist as you glide along viewing the lake's verdant scenery, resident birds, and wildlife (you might even catch a glimpse of a browsing deer or basking turtle).  A great way to end a busy day.   The tour is available on Saturday and Sunday evenings, but the capacity is only 7!

Saturday at 3:05 p.m. (#24)

Sunday at 3:05 p.m. (#48)

Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

Car

Adult: $30 - Youth: $20 - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 N/A N/A
Saturday at 3:05 p.m. (#24)70Full
Sunday at 3:05 p.m. (#48)70Full

Sustainable Vines, Wines and Wildlife

NEW! The LangeTwins Family, winner of the Leopold Conservation Award, is all about sustainability; starting with the stewardship of the Mokelumne River and adjoining lowlands, to their vineyards, to their state- of-the-art winery.  Join fourth generation viticulturist, Aaron Lange, on a first-ever walking tour of their wildlife habitat areas and adjoining vineyards where you will see a variety of bird species and possibly even Sandhill cranes moving overhead.  The tour will culminate in a visit to the family winery where adults will be treated to a taste of the many fine vintages that have been personally nurtured by the family from the soil to the bottle.  Dress in layers and bring your “dirt” shoes and binoculars!  For further information go to www.langetwins.com  

Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (#38)

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Car

Adult: $25 - Youth: $15 - Child: $10

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (#38)2514

ZenOptic Wetlands Dawn - a NaturalMedia Photo Tour with Lon Yarbrough

There is no better time to experience the vibrant life of the wetlands than at dawn.  Join a small and hearty group led by local "craniac" photographer, Lon Yarbrough, on this amazing photo opportunity.  Dawn begins well before the sunrise, when calls and song reveal the wetland's creatures.  As the sun rises you will experiment with high ISOS, long shutter speeds and wide open apertures to capture images not obtainable at any other time. Be sure to review the tutorial on details and techniques available at www.NaturalMedia.us/dawn.htm.

Sunday at 5:30 a.m. (#30)

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

Car

Adult: $50 - Youth: N/A - Child: N/A

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $50 N/A N/A
Sunday at 5:30 a.m. (#30)150Full

Additional Information

Tour spaces are limited.  Reservations by October 26th are strongly encouraged. 

Adults are over 17, youth 12-17, and children under 12 years.   Tours are held rain or shine. 

No refunds for cancellations after October 26, 2015. Cancellations before October 26th will be charged a $10 processing fee.