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Thrills for birdlovers during January tour

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When you think 'Yolo Bypass' do you think Sacramento River flood control or maybe I-80, which crosses it? If so and you love birds, you'll be surprised and delighted by the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. The wildlife area, an annual winter stop for birds flying south on the Pacific Flyway, also is the year 'round home for all sorts of birds from songbirds to ducks to raptors.

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Maybe you'll see a Great Horned Owl perched in a leafless tree, or a Blackcrowned Night Heron, one leg tucked up, watching intently for any movement in the shallow water. Large numbers of Tundra Swans are wintering there now, said Yolo Basin Foundation Co-Executive Director Ann Brice in a press release. You may also spot other wintering shorebirds, ducks, geese, swans, hawks, owls and cranes.

The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, managed by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and just minutes from Sacramento, is a birdwatchers paradise right in your backyard. From 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, Expert birder Terry Colborn will take participants on a bird search at the wildlife area and elsewhere in and around Sacramento to raise money to support the wetlands programs offered by the Yolo Basin Foundation.

Brice says the $70 event, "A Big Day of Birding," will include a driving tour of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, a visit to the Cosumnes River Preserve south of Sacramento and more. Colborn, who Brice calls "one of the area's top birding experts," is happy to guide all birders, beginners to advanced. The tour price includes a mid-morning snack and a gourmet picnic lunch.

To reserve your spot, go to www.yolobasin.org and click on "Gaggle of Gatherings," or call (530) 757-3780.

IF YOU GO

  • What: Birding tour
  • Where: Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Cosumnes River Preserve
  • When: 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25
  • Who: Birding expert Terry Colborn
  • How much: $70
  • More information: www.yolobasin.org, (530) 757-3780

For freelance writing/editing rates and availability, contact Bogart Communications writer/editor Carol Bogart at carol@bogartonline.com.

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