It’s time for the 13 annual Galt Winter Bird Festival this Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Chabolla Community Center, 610 Chabolla Avenue in Galt, beginning at 10 a.m. for arts, crafts and educational vendors, presentations and activities, and ending with the final presentation at 2 p.m., and a final preserve tour leaving at 3:30 p.m. Festival admission is free for the entire family.

The city of Galt, in collaboration with the Cosumnes River Preserve and Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, have planned a fun-filled day of family adventure that includes free hands-on activities for every member of the family, free wild animal presentations that are sure to thrill, and a chance to visit the 50,000-acre Cosumnes River Preserve, the winter home to thousands of migratory birds with more than 250 species each year.

Educational workshops have been added to the mix this year. Guests will have the opportunity to build a bird box (for a nominal fee), and learn how to take fantastic photographs; San Joaquin Mickie Grove will host “Fill the Bill”; and new this year, Blueprint Design Company will help guests create some home décor with a Welcome to Our Bird Nest project ($45).

Joining the Winter Bird Festival team again this year is the Galt District Chamber of Commerce, which will be hosting a pre-festival adult gathering Friday evening, Jan. 31, starting at 6:30 p.m. This event will feature wine, beer and food tasting with live music by Travis Vega. Tickets are only $35. Visit www.eventbrite.com to purchase tickets or call the Chamber at 209-745-2529.

The Winter Bird Festival will feature eight tours, five at the preserve. As in years past, you must register in advance to take a bus ride out to the preserve for a close-up look at a variety of bird species that find winter comfort, food, resting and nesting habitats at the preserve each year. Costs of the tours vary.

Preserve tours are: Sunrise Photography Tour, Tall Forest & Riparian Habitat Tour, Delta Birding Tour, Paint and Sip at the Barn, and guest favorite Staten Island Sunset Tour. A special Friday tour is planned at the preserve as well. Water Birds and Waterfowl Behind Closed Gates are available for birth enthusiasts from 2-4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.

Bring your binoculars and your camera for a chance to see some breathtaking scenes of birds in their own environment, including manmade and managed wetlands, natural wetlands, grasslands and river habitat that play host to a number of wetland creatures, birds, small aquatic mammals, reptiles and even deer.

To sign up for the tour of your choice, visit the city website, www.ci.galt.ca.us/WBF, or call 209-366-7180.

An exciting and educational opportunity, the Winter Bird Festival is a true celebration of all things winged and all things family.

Presentations for the 2020 festival include Backyard Bird Safari by landscape artist Mike Heacox; Wild Things & Conservation Ambassadors; Leesa Klotz with Cal-Waste will speak; Ducks Unlimited will return with a waterfowl dog presentation; Micke Grove will return with its “Fill the Bill” presentation, as well as Kelli Moulden with Hawks, Honkers and Hoots.

Keynote speaker Jeff Rich will speak about this year’s feature birds, Bald Eagles.

For more information, visit the web at www.ci.galt.ca.us or call the 24-hour recorded information line at 209-366-7220. For more information on the Cosumnes River Preserve, visit online at www.cosumnes.org.

This event is brought to you through a collaboration of the city of Galt, the Cosumnes River Preserve and the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, and is made possible by the generous support of key sponsors SMUD, Cal-Waste Recovery Systems, The Galt Herald, and SOS Cranes.