Point Reyes Waterbirds

The Point Reyes peninsula, with its mild climate and abundance of estuaries, lagoons, bays, and open ocean shoreline, is a hotspot for a large number and variety of shorebirds and waterbirds. Situated on the Pacific Flyway, Point Reyes is a wintering destination for birds traveling from the arctic tundra, Great Plains, Great Basin, northern Pacific coast, and beyond. This class will emphasize the identification, seasonal occurrence patterns, and natural history of wintering waterfowl, loons, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, herons and egrets, rails and coots, shorebirds, gulls, and terns. We will explore a range of habitats to see how these varied groups of birds are adapted to the local coastal environment. Which species exploit herring runs or eel grass beds in Tomales Bay, why are some ubiquitous and others of very local occurrence, and what limits their numbers and distribution in winter? Which species are declining, which are increasing, and why? How does the wintering waterbird fauna on Point Reyes differ from that further north and south on the coast or in the interior of California? We will explore these topics and more in informal discussions in the field while we experience firsthand the beauty and mystery of these water-adapted beings. Accommodations included at the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center

To register for this class please visit Point Reyes Field Institute webpage

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