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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

Below is a list of all available tours.  This page may be printed for your reference. You may also download a Tour Schedule.  Tour spaces are limited.  It is advised that you register early as tours fill up quickly.

To help you with your planning, you may also download a daily schedule for all Festival activities including Tours, Presentations and Workshops.  Download a Friday, Saturday or Sunday schedule here.

You may register for a nature tour in advance either online, by phone at 800-581-6150, or by downloading the Registration Form and mailing it with your payment to:

Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival Association
P.O. Box 1616
Lodi, California 95241

For more information contact us at (800) 581-6150 or email info@cranefestival.com.

All tours start and end at Hutchins Street Square (125 S. Hutchins Street, Lodi), at the north entrance, off Oak Street.

An Afternoon with the Sandhill Cranes and Paul Tebbel

This NEW tour is just the one for those who can't quite make it up early in the morning but still want to join a field tour with world-renowned crane expert, Paul Tebbel.  Beat the weekend crowds and move about the Delta to observe cranes resting, eating, dancing,  parenting, disputing territory, and the myriad of other fascinating and intricate behaviors that they display during the 'great winter rendezvous.'  It is the goal of this tour to bring you 'up close and personal' with the biology and natural history of "our" cranes through observation, and Paul's sharing of his 40 years of experience.  This "extravaganza" will start at Cosumnes River Preserve located at 13501 Franklin Blvd., Galt, Ca 95632 (How to Get There) and end for the flyin at a location where you will feel that you are in the middle of the roost.  The tour ends in time for you to get back to Hutchins Street Square for dinner and to join the 'early bird herd' and dance with the Whoopies!

Friday at 2:30 pm (#1)

Duration: 4 hours 15 minutes

Car

Adult: $45 - Youth: $35 - Child: $25

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $45 Youth: $35 Child: $25
Friday at 2:30 pm (#1)150Full

Bacchus and Birds

This 2nd year tour, at the family (and dog) - friendly Durst Winery in Acampo, was a big hit last year! 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 and a homemade cookie, local birding experts will challenge (and assist) you to complete (and even expand) the bird list crafted especially for this tour.  Bring your lunch or buy something from the winery deli case (cookies provided)...and don't forget to greet Jack and Gracie (a new addition to the family) the friendliest winery dogs ever!     For more about the winery, visit www.durstwinery.com

Saturday at 11:50 am (#15)

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Saturday at 11:50 am (#15)2517

Bird Carving Seminar

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 Dunlin in feeding pose.  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 pm (#102)

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 Youth: $25 N/A
Sunday at 1:40 pm (#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 Festival record of 120 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 am (#7)

Sunday at 7:00 am (#29)

Duration: 4 hours

Mini-bus

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $20 Child: $10
Saturday at 6:30 am (#7)229
Sunday at 7:00 am (#29)2217

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 a local birding expert.  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 am (#10)

Sunday at 7:30 am (#32)

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $15 Youth: $10 Child: $5
Saturday at 7:30 am (#10)159
Sunday at 7:30 am (#32)1515

Cosumnes River Preserve

This tour is a must for newcomers and a treat for returnees!  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 3:25 p.m. (#22)

Sunday at 2:40 pm (#42)

Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes

Bus

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Saturday at 3:25 p.m. (#22)3415
Sunday at 2:40 pm (#42)3829

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.]  For more information about DFW tours during the season go to cranetours@wildlife.ca.gov.

Friday at 4:05 pm (#5)

Saturday at 4:10 pm (#26)

Saturday at 4:15 pm (#27)

Sunday at 3:20 pm (#47)

Duration: approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Bus

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Friday at 4:05 pm (#5)4423
Saturday at 4:10 pm (#26)3423
Saturday at 4:15 pm (#27)3426
Sunday at 3:20 pm (#47)3630

Crane Fly-In Staten Island

More fly-in opportunities!  Combine crane fly-in with birding Staten Island, a premier Nature Conservancy/Conservation Farms and Ranches location, 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 thousands with both Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes. In addition, ducks, geese, Tundra Swans, Great Blue Herons, egrets and numerous other bird species 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 3:45 am (#3)

Saturday at 3:30 pm (#23)

Sunday at 2:45 pm (#43)

Duration: Approximately 3 hours 15 minutes

Bus

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Friday at 3:45 am (#3)4430
Saturday at 3:30 pm (#23)3419
Sunday at 2:45 pm (#43)3636

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, or to book a special tour for your group to this location during the "Crane Season" visit:  www.cranetours@wildlife.ca.gov.

Friday at 3:55 pm (#4)

Saturday at 3:55 pm (#25)

Sunday at 3:10 pm (#46)

Duration: approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Bus

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $35 Youth: $20 Child: $15
Friday at 3:55 pm (#4)3816
Saturday at 3:55 pm (#25)3412
Sunday at 3:10 pm (#46)3635

Crane Roving

See what the cranes see from the air and then see them on the ground!  This is a one-of-a kind tour this year, starting with a 30 minute fly-over video produced and narrated by Delta conservationist Dino Cortopassi.   The privately-developed "Black Hole" Wetland Habitat on Woodbridge Road will magnificently unfold before your eyes, along with comparative aerial views of adjacent Delta lands. The bus will traverse these same locales in pursuit of the many Sandhill Cranes that 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.  Daylight makes it easier to view the details of these magnificent birds and their habitats which will be described for you along the way by experienced Department of Fish and Wildlife docents.

Sunday at 10:15 am (#39)

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Bus

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Sunday at 10:15 am (#39)3836

Cruising with Captain Morgan's Delta Adventures

This was such a popular new tour last year, that there are five opportunities this year to set sail from Tower Park Marina/Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp-Resort with Captain Frank Morgan, including a  NEW Friday afternoon tour.  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  on the Mokelumen River.  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  For more information about Tower Park Marina and the campground visit www.towerparkresort.com.

Friday at 1:00 pm (#2)

Saturday at 10:00 am (#13)

Saturday at 2:00 pm (#18)

Sunday at 8:30 am (#34)

Sunday at 12:00 pm (#40)

Duration: 4 hours

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $55 Youth: $45 Child: $35
Friday at 1:00 pm (#2)3424
Saturday at 10:00 am (#13)3417
Saturday at 2:00 pm (#18)3422
Sunday at 8:30 am (#34)3424
Sunday at 12:00 pm (#40)3428

Delta Birding Cruise

Cruise leisurely along the meandering waterways of the California Delta through prime Sandhill Crane habitat with local licensed boat drivers and birder/naturalists.  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, however, children must be accompanied by an adult.  Boats have an open canopy, but always be prepared for the elements.  The dock at Tower Park Marina/Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp-Resort adjoins the resort restaurant and other amenities.  For more info about the marina and the campground visit www.towerparkresort.com.

 

 

Saturday at 7:00 am (#8)

Saturday at 9:40 am (#12)

Saturday at 12:20 am (#17)

Saturday at 2:50 pm (#21)

Sunday at 7:10 am (#31)

Sunday at 9:50 am (#37)

Sunday at 12:20 pm (#41)

Sunday at 2:50 pm (#44)

Duration: 3 hours 10 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $45 Youth: $25 Child: $15
Saturday at 7:00 am (#8)1611
Saturday at 9:40 am (#12)1614
Saturday at 12:20 am (#17)164
Saturday at 2:50 pm (#21)1612
Sunday at 7:10 am (#31)166
Sunday at 9:50 am (#37)166
Sunday at 12:20 pm (#41)1612
Sunday at 2:50 pm (#44)1613

Field Photography with Paul Bannick

NEW!  Award winning and world-renowned photographer, author, and conservationist Paul Bannick is back!  Join the Festival's keynote speaker on this unique tour geared specifically for photographers.  The afternoon starts with a two (+/-) hour classroom workshop where Paul's interactive presentation will cover everything from finding and approaching birds to adjusting your exposure compentation.  He will answer questions, and share his technical expertise, techniques, and artistic approaches to creating bird and wildlife images that, as his website says,  "foster the intimacy between viewer and subject, inspiring education and conservation."   The group will then move by car caravan into the field with Paul to various locations to capture some of those unique images on your own under his tutelage.  Don't miss this rare opportunity to spend an afternoon with one of the nations outstanding wildlife photographers and conservationists!  For more about Paul visit his website at www.paulbannick.com

Saturday at 2:05 pm (#19)

Duration: 4 hours 45 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $60 N/A N/A
Saturday at 2:05 pm (#19)150Full

For the Birds! Eco-Friendly Winery Tour

Go where only tour participants may venture!  The Turner Road Vintners has created a bountiful habitat for a variety of bird species, both native and imported, including a flock of Black Swans.  Grab a glass of complimentary wine and join resident manager John Devine on a most-informative walkabout around the grounds and the innovative eco-friendly water reclamation ponds. Bring your binoculars and your camera (this is a go-to destination for bird photographers!).    Participants must be 21 years or older.

Saturday at 11:35 pm (#14)

Duration: 2 hour 15 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 N/A N/A
Saturday at 11:35 pm (#14)156--

Kayak the Mokelumne River and Lodi Lake with Headwaters Kayak

Lodi Lake has water and is awaiting your arrival!  The Lake and the adjoining picturesque Mokelumne River provide the rare opportunity for Crane Festival participants to enjoy a gentle twilight kayaking trip on Saturday or an early morning trip on Sunday.  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.   Although unlikely, always dress to get wet.   We recomment that electronic devices be in sealed "wet" bags or locked in the car.  Bring your water bottle and a snack!  For more info on Headwaters and other local kayak activities go to http://www.headwaterskayak.com

Saturday at 2:15 pm (#20)

Sunday at 8:45 am (#35)

Duration: 3 hours

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $40 Youth: $35 N/A
Saturday at 2:15 pm (#20)1514-
Sunday at 8:45 am (#35)1515-

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 salmon as they complete their journey from the Pacific Ocean! 

Friday at 7:05 am (#9)

Duration: 3 hours 55 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $20 Youth: $10 Child: $5
Friday at 7:05 am (#9)2017

Opening Night Dinner

Join us for a gourmet dinner served family-style as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival.  

Catering by Sandra will provide dinner which includes: garden salad, bread and butter, tri tip, grilled chicken, roasted mixed vegetables, twice baked style potatoes, and dessert.  Wine, iced tea and coffee are included.  Doors open at 6:00 with dinner at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $30 per person.  Seating is limited and reservations are required.  Please make your reservation by November 1st.  Hope to see you there!

Friday at 6:30 pm (#101)

Adult: $30 - Youth: $30 - Child: $30

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $30 Child: $30
Friday at 6:30 pm (#101)13098

Photographing Wild Birds with Jim Dunn

Jim Dunn was the 2015 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  for an early (but not too early) morning foray at the Turner Road Vintners to discuss equipment options for wild bird photography, and learn (and practice) some of the key skills and techniques to get good photographs.  This will be the first time photographers have had the chance to access this great bird habitat first thing in the morning.

Sunday at 7:05 am (#30)

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $45 N/A N/A
Sunday at 7:05 am (#30)1511--

Private Lives of Sandhill Cranes with Paul Tebbel

Join world-renowned crane expert, Paul Tebbel (40 years of experience with cranes, including 11 years as Director of Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska) on this early-morning tour/workshop that focuses on the cranes as they wake up and leave their roost to feed.  Hear the sounds that are heard only in the early morning while you learn to diffferentiate between subspecies, juveniles and adults.  At various stops Paul will elaborate on the life history of the Sandhill Cranes with the tour culminating at the Square with a viewing of his video which will reinforce many of the actions observed or discussed in the morning.  Besides refreshments, this tour includes a copy of the book, The Private Lives of Sandhill Cranes.

Saturday at 5:15 am (#6)

Duration: 4 hours

Minibus

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $60 N/A N/A
Saturday at 5:15 am (#6)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 am (#11)

Saturday at 12:00 pm (#16)

Sunday at 8:15 am (#33)

Duration: 4 hours 45 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $40 Youth: $30 Child: $20
Saturday at 8:15 am (#11)207
Saturday at 12:00 pm (#16)2014
Sunday at 8:15 am (#33)2017

River Bird Walk, Wine Tasting and Picnic with David Yee

Stroll picturesque vineyards and an old-growth riparian forest along the Mokelumne River with renowned birder David Yee (who knows this area like his own home).  Participants will scan the vegetation and skies looking for species to add to the Winery's monthly list (and maybe even the Festival list).  At the end of your walk, relax and talk birds with David on the Heritage Oak Winery patio while you enjoy Tom and Carmela's handcrafted wines and a delicious lunch from the popular Lodi Airport Cafe.    If you are lucky, the hummingbird feeders will be buzzing with various species.  Lunch, great wine, David Yee, and nature...what else is there? Round trip walking on the trail is approximately 2.5 miles, so bring your walking shoes and binoculars.  For more about the winery, visit www.heritageoakwinery.com (must be 21).

Sunday at 10:05 am (#38)

Duration: 3 hours 15 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $35 N/A N/A
Sunday at 10:05 am (#38)2510--

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 3:45 pm (#24)

Sunday at 3:05 pm (#45)

Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $30 Youth: $20 N/A
Saturday at 3:45 pm (#24)75-
Sunday at 3:05 pm (#45)76-

Sustainable Vines, Wines and Wildlife

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 a local naturalist, and fourth generation viticulturist, Aaron Lange, on a rare 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 am (#36)

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $25 Youth: $15 Child: $10
Sunday at 9:30 am (#36)2523

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. 

Sunday at 5:30 am (#28)

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

Car

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

Register For Tour

Date and Time Available Remaining Adult: $50 N/A N/A
Sunday at 5:30 am (#28)151--

Additional Information

Tour spaces are limited.  Reservations by October 18th 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 25, 2016. Cancellations before October 25th will be charged a $10 processing fee.