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Flock to the Galt Winter Bird Festival

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Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:21 am, Tue Jan 10, 2012.

Galt-area residents are expected to flock to this year's fifth-annual Galt Winter Bird Festival later this month. The event is a joint venture between the city of Galt and Galt Joint Union Elementary School District.

"It's so great to see our community, school district and other event partners pull together to support this annual event," Superintendent Karen Schauer said, adding that it's a unique hands-on family day.

The celebration of birds will include guest speakers, food and arts vendors, and tours to area preserves. Many of the offerings are free.

Bus tours will shuttle participants from McCaffrey Middle School to various locations to view native birds.

During January, visitors to the Cosumnes River Preserve have the opportunity to see more than 100 different bird species in a day, according to John Durand, one of the event's original organizers.

Between 50,000 and 70,000 birds will likely be using the wetlands surrounding the Preserve Visitor Center and be visible from the tour routes during the festival, he said.

There are a range of tours geared for a variety of ages and interests:

  • The Photo Tour is for those wanting to capture bird activity as morning dawns on the wetlands.
  • The early morning Songbird Tour is for the bird enthusiast who wants to explore areas of the preserve that are not generally open to the public.
  • The Children's Tour will be at McFarland Ranch with opportunities for youth to build a bird house and practice duck calling, according to Durand.

One of his favorite parts of the Festival is the Youth Art Gallery which features artwork from elementary, middle school and high school students.

"I especially enjoy seeing our community and region's families learn and have fun together right here in Galt, indoors at our beautiful McCaffrey Middle School facility and outdoors at the Cosumnes River Preserve," Schauer said.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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