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Snow Goose Festival 2018 – Chico California

Snow Goose Festival 2018 – Chico California

January 15, 2018 by: Sharon Roberts

Snow Goose Festival

The 19th Annual .Snow Gooses Festival is organized by Altacal Audubon Society.  This year there will be over 70 field trips,and workshops along with an art show.  The workshops and field trips are varied youth, beginner birders and experience birders will all find several field trips and or workshops suited to their interest and experience level.

Dates:  Jan. 24th – Jan. 28th, 2018

Pacific Flyway

The Snow Goose Festival is situated in one of the greatest migratory pathways in the entire world, the Pacific Flyway.  This flyway stretches from the Bering Strait on the coast of Alaska to the steeps at Patagonia in South America.

The Northern Sacramento Valley has some of the most accessible viewing areas on this migratory pathway.  Tens of Thousands Snow Geese choose to winter in the Sacramento Valley.  Close to one and half million use the Pacific Flyway.

The Snow Goose Festival is an annual event held in Chico, Ca each winter.  This year the event will run from Jan. 24th through Sunday, Jan. 28th  The mission of the festival is to celebrate the Snow Geese and to increase public awareness, understanding, appreciation and the conservation of the incredible wildlife and related habitats of the Northern Sacramento Valley.

Field Trips

Online registration is available..  Please visit  the Snow Goose Festival website to check for open field trips.  There are 70 field trips to choose from. A sample of some of the trips; Bird Photography, Marathon Big Day Birding in Plumas County, Lassen Volcanic National Park Snowshoe Hike, Wings & Wine Tasting in Vina, Winter Birding in the Foothills, Beginning Birding by Ear and more. 

Special field trips to areas that are not always open to the general public include; Rancho Esquon,  and Dye Creek Preserve.

Rancho Esquon is a working ranch and it is common to see Sandhill Cranes during the winter months on the ranch.  Dye Creek Preserve is in Eastern Tehama County.  Lewis’s Woodpecker, Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Quail, Ferruginous Hawk, Bald and Golden Eagle are all common.

Field trips and workshops range in prices from 8 dollars to 95 dollars.


There are 16 workshops to choose from.  A few of the workshops to choose from include; bird carving for beginner, history and mystery of the Sutter Buttes, less lawn, more wildlife-garden habitat, Chico backyard birds.

Costs for the workshops run between 5 and 45 dollars.

Youth Oriented Programs

This year there are over 40 youth workshops designed especially for youth at the Chico Masonic Family Center.  Smokey the Bear and the Blue Goose will be making an appearance.  Children can earn a Junior Ranger Badge and a Junior Naturalist Certificate.

Workshops include; Sutter Buttes hike, wings & olive tasting in Corning, Bidwell Park bird walk, basic nature & wildlife photography, wolves in California: the long journey home, building a Lego Bird,

Special Fishing Junior Ranger Program at Indian Fishery led by Ranger Mathew Stilter.  This program is limited to 15, register early.

Free Events

There are several free events for the whole family on both Saturday and Sunday.

Lassen Park is home to 216 species of birds.  The park is part of several monitoring programs and a bird banding station.

Bird list for Lassen Park.


Snow Goose Festival Wildlife Art Exhibit runs Jan. 26th- Feb. 2nd at 325 Main Street downtown Chico.  There will be a free reception on Jan. 26th from 5- 8 pm.


If you have a few extra days in the area, plan a stay at the St. Bernard Lodge.  St. Bernard Lodge is about one hour north of Chico and 20 minutes from the SW entrance of Lassen Park.  St. Bernard Lodge is also about 40 minutes from the Bizz Johnson Trail which is a California Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area.  Bizz Johnson Trail is home to 100 bird species. Lassen Park is home to 216 species of birds.  Plumas County has 312 species of birds that have been spotted.

Bird List for Lassen Park

Bird List for Plumas County

For more on birding near St. Bernard Lodge visit our blog post: 6 Top Birding Spots Near Lassen

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