This weekend thousands of people will come to Lodi to participate in the 15th annual Sandhill Crane Festival at Hutchins Street Square.
The celebration honors the migratory birds that fly to areas in Lodi every year for the winter. For more information, visit www.cranefestival.com.
There are still some tours with open spots, but you can no longer register online. To snag an open spot, call 800-581-6150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never been to the crane festival at Hutchins Street Square? Here’s what you need to know:
Crane dance workshop: Crane chicks and adult cranes often dance to learn life skills and for pair bonding. Families with kids over 3 years old can enjoy learning the crane dance “alphabet” and perform a unique crane dance that will displayed at a performance. 10 a.m. to noon.
The Secret Live of Raptors: The Native Bird Connections will bring hawks and owls to educate festival-goers about the birds. 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Taiko Drumming: Watch a performance of this Japanese-style of drumming. Noon.
The Future of Cranes and Diverse Landscapes: Listen to Richard Beilfuss, president of the International Crane Foundation discuss the many species of cranes that are threatened and the future of the bird. 12:30 p.m.
Owl Pellet Exploration: Children will dissect pellets and match the bones they find to small mammal bone charts. 12:30 p.m. Advance sign-up required.
Top Birding Spots in San Joaquin County: Learn the best places to find different type of birds throughout the county. 1:30 p.m.
How to Photograph Birds in Flight: Wildlife photographer Richard Pavek will give a lesson on how to track and shoot birds without a tripod but still maintain stability. 1:30 p.m.
Decoy Carving Workshop for Beginners: Learn how to carve a life-size Dunlin shorebird decoy. This class costs $25 and kits are provided with a carving knife and study guides. 2:45 p.m. You can register at the event or call Jim Burcio at 925-754-4978.
The Wonders of Bats: Hear about some of the myths and facts about these flying mammals from a member of NorCal Bats, which rescues, rehabilitates and releases bats in Northern California. 3 p.m.
Wild Things!: Gabe and Barb Kerschner bring some of the animals that they rescued but that could not be returned to the wild. In the past, they have included a mountain lion, bear, raccoon, eagle and owl. 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
ZenOptic Wetlands Dawn: Digital Capture at First Light: Learn about how to photograph, video and record the cranes at dawn. 11 a.m.
Native American Flute Performance: Listen to Dan Ricketts perform with other members of the Northern California Flute Circle. 11:50 a.m.
Finding Hope and Family in Alaska: Hear about Hank Lentfer’s new book and how cranes restored his interest in preservation after he had been discouraged by failed environmental policy. 12:30 p.m.
Owl Pellet Exploration: See the previous description. 12:30 p.m.
Creepy, Crawly Pond Critters: Learn about the creatures in the streams around our area. 12:30 p.m.
Sandhill Crane Behavior: Hear about the cranes use of dancing, body language and vocalizations to communicate. 1:30 p.m.
You Can Play the Native American Flute: Instructor Dan Ricketts will teach participants how to produce a nice sound on a flute. You can bring your own flute, or there will be flutes for 10 participants. 2:30 to 4 p.m.
Bird and Reptiles — More Alike than Different: Learn about the relationships and similarities between birds and reptiles from Micke Grove Zoo presenters. 3 p.m.