Students from Bay View Elementary School
Students at Calabasas Elementary School walk through their community garden with excitement as they begin their first visit with the Bird School Project. Credit: The Bird School Project

With the fall migration season, there is exciting news on the horizon for every birder! The Bird School Project, a local nonprofit outdoor education organization, will be taking over the Monterey Bay Festival of Birds happening this September 30th – October 2nd, 2022!

This year’s Festival of Birds will feature field trips to amazing local destinations, workshops in writing, photography, and nature journaling, and community-oriented introductory birding. Don’t miss out Saturday’s Nature Extravaganza on October 1st, geared toward the whole family with performances, food and craft vendors, non-profit activity booths, and speakers.

Teachers from Salinas Union High School District
Teachers from Salinas Union High School District join the Bird School Project at Big Sur Land Trust’s Carr Lake property for some professional learning and nature connection prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year. Credit: The Bird School Project

There are also many opportunities for free fun! Throughout the festival weekend several community nature pop-up hubs will provide free nature journaling resources, free beginner bird walks, and free binocular demonstrations. On September 30th, there will be a hub in Marina and Santa Cruz and on October 2nd in Moss Landing and Salinas. Visit our website for more info.

Students from Bay View Elementary School
Students from Bay View Elementary School enthralled with the upclose sighting of a mama mallard and her baby chicks at Neary Lagoon. Credit: The Bird School Project

The main event, Nature Extravaganza, will take place Saturday, October 1st, from 12:30 – 6:30 pm in Watsonville’s Ramsay Park. In addition to plenty of activities hosted by nonprofits from around the region, this event will also feature a live red-tailed hawk from Monterey SPCA, a poetry reading, an excerpt of the ballet, “The Legend of the Snowy Plover,” as well as food vendors and more! Stay tuned for the last hour of Nature Extravaganza where novelist, Jonathan Franzen, will host a keynote panel of environmental authors including Emilie Lygren, Sarah Rabkin, Aideed Medina, and Terrell J. Maddox.

Interested in nighttime celebrations? On Friday, September 30th join us for a Birds and Brews Trivia Night from 7:00 – 9:30 pm at The Slough Brewing Collective in Watsonville hosted by Central Coast Birding Collective. Head over to Other Brother Brewery in Seaside for a free presentation about Heerman’s Gulls at 4:30 pm followed by a bird themed game night, hosted by Monterey Audubon.

Stay in the loop about all upcoming festival details by joining The Bird School Project’s e-mail list. For any questions about the festival, or if you’d like to volunteer, please contact Jessica Correa at