Field Trip: gray lodge hike
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is a jewel in the crown of the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife. More than a million waterfowl can’t be wrong! Gray Lodge's habitat diversity and location along the Pacific Flyway make it a magnet for ducks, geese, and other wildlife. Surrounded by miles of rich agricultural land, this 9,100-acre area is intensively managed primarily for wintering waterfowl. The Sutter Buttes make a perfect backdrop for the wetlands in which the birds congregate. This is a great trip to see , several raptor species, lots of wading birds, and songbirds in the riparian vegetation. We will take a short walk, through the wetlands and woodlands, to an observation platform with views of huge flocks of waterfowl. Then we’ll travel around the one-way auto loop, which has great views of the wetlands and waterfowl from both sides of the vehicles. The group will be in constant communication with Roger using walkie-talkies.
Field Trip Leaders
Dr. Roger Lederer has birdwatched in more than 100 countries. He's spent more than 40 years studying and writing about birds.The emeritus professor of biological sciences has been teaching ornithology and ecology at California State University, Chico since 1972.
He has written more than 30 research papers, a textbook "Ecology and Field Biology," and nine books on birds. He maintains the popular website Ornithology.com.
Dr. Lederer directed the Bidwell Environmental Institute, has managed the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, and chaired the local science fair board. He has been a naturalist for cruise Jines describing ecology, natural history, and geology for passengers and has been a consultant for the BBC, National Geographic, National Public Radio and other organizations and publications.
He has been keynote speaker for the Snow Goose Festival and the Swan Festival.
Special note about the field trip
A special note about Field Trips Please arrive at the location indicated 30 minutes prior to your scheduled event. This will allow us time to check you in and ensure the trip leaves promptly. We ask that you follow your field trip leader from the meeting location to the final destination. Anyone arriving after the field trip leader has left may not be able to join the group. Most field trips will be limited to the first 20 reservations. Walk-in registration may be available for some events during the weekend of the Festival. Weather may change a trip's itinerary, but most trips will be conducted rain or shine. Bring your binoculars, water and a sack lunch.
Tips & Etiquette for bird watchers
To make your trip more enjoyable for yourself and others, we ask you to please use these following etiquette tips:
- Wear clothing suitable for the weather and area you'll be hiking in. It's practical to layer clothing to accommodate fluctuations in temperature. Wear comfortable shoes that have a good grip and are waterproof when necessary. You may want to take sunscreen, a hat or rain gear.
- Bring binoculars or a scope for a better viewing experience.
- Bring water on long outings to stay hydrated.
- Bring a Field Guide if you are interested in learning more about the birds you see. If you are a beginning birder, look for a guide that specializes in birds of northern California.
- Be courteous to other explorers. Stay with your group and pay attention to your trip leader. Walk quietly and slowly. Do not disrupt animals or damage their habitats (breaking branches, trampling vegetation). Turn off cell phones or other electronic devices. If you are taking children with you, explain to them proper etiquette before the trip. Always behave in a manner that will enhance the image of the birding communities in the eyes of the public.
- Tune up your senses and listen carefully. Scan the horizon and tree canopies. Look to the ground for prints, feathers and other traces of wildlife. Please remove litter and leave natural items where they belong. This will keep it enjoyable for others when they visit.
- No dogs or pets allowed on any California Swan Festival event, workshop, or program. Please leave Fido with friends or family and not in the car during a field trip.