The 18th-annual Heron Festival, presented by the Redbud Audubon Society, will be held Saturday, May 5, 2012, at Redbud Park in Clearlake. The event is a fun, family-oriented event that features pontoon boat tours, birding and nature speakers, exhibit booths, and children’s activities.
Pontoon boat excursions will take visitors into the Anderson Marsh area of Clear Lake to view nesting herons,
egrets, grebes, and other shorebirds. The 90-minute boat trips will be offered from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Experienced Audubon birding guides will accompany each boat to share information about the birds and wildlife
seen on each trip. The excursions depart from the Redbud Park marina. Cost is $20 per person for the pontoon boat trips. Advance reservations are required and may be made online by visiting www.heronfestival.org
The festival features speaker presentations, slide shows and videos on local birds and wildlife. Topics include the nesting herons and egrets, Clear Lake’s “dancing” grebes, and other birds likely to be seen during the festival.
The Keynote Speaker at this year’s festival is internationally-honored nature photographer Philip L. Greene from Point Reyes, California. Greene has studied and photographed herons and egrets for over two decades. His spectacular photos and engaging lecture focus on the nesting cycle of herons and egrets, with special emphasis on mating behaviors, nest-building, and fledging.
A major highlight, especially for children, is “Raptor Speak,” where live owls and other birds of prey join Curator Jenny Papka from Native Bird Connections to offer an opportunity to see raptor behavior up close. Learn about these lively non-releasable raptors in a fun and informative talk and bird demonstration, offered twice on Saturday afternoon because of its popularity.
A nature fair with numerous outdoor exhibit booths presents conservation and nature displays, and educational materials. Nature-related arts and crafts also are featured.
Dr. Harry Lyons, Professor of Biology and Ecology at the Clear Lake Campus of Yuba College, offers an
entertaining program on Saturday morning that mixes biology, music, and humor to tell the story of Clear Lake. In “Myths and Music of Clear Lake,” Dr. Lyons gives the history and biology of the lake’s more than two million years of existence and the importance of its ecosystem to the birds, fish, and wildlife of Lake County.
Except for the boat tours, all other festival activities are free, as is park entry and parking. Redbud Park is located at 14655 Lakeshore Boulevard, Clearlake. For festival information, visit www.heronfestival.org
or call the Redbud Audubon Society at (707) 263-8030.
Located in beautiful Northern California, Lake County is just two hours by car from the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Valley, and the Pacific Coast. Lake County is home to Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California and possibly the oldest lake on the continent. Visitors to Lake County experience the state’s cleanest air basin, spectacular scenic beauty, fine wines, and unsurpassed recreational opportunities — from hiking, biking, golf, and off-road adventures to boating, fishing, kayaking, birding, and even rockhounding. The local area code is 707.
Local resort, motel, and bed-and-breakfast reservations are available by calling the Lake County Visitor Information Center at (800) 525-3743 or visiting www.lakecounty.com