It happens just once a year, and boy do feathers get ruffled! The Flyway Festival on Mare Island in San Pablo Bay is the Super Bowl of bird-watching. Celebrating its 14th season, the festival first came about as an effort to raise Bay Area awareness of birdlife and preserve the 50,000 acres of wetland between Vallejo and Marin from urban development. Since then things have taken flight, and this year—from Feb. 5-7—the Flyway Festival will host more than 70 free outings. Join volunteer-led excursions around Mare Island’s waterfront and historic shipyard, or get back into the remote western edge of the island for great bird-watching at the confluence of the Carquinez Strait, Napa River, and San Pablo Bay. Parents will like the friendly educational angle of the exhibits (there’s even a puppet show about “Sandy the sandpiper”), and the Wonder of Raptors wild bird show offers an up-close view of the sky’s predators. Touchdown!
There is no cost to attend the Flyway Festival. Some outings require RSVP. Check the Web site for details.