Hawks, Honkers & Hoots will return to this year’s Galt Winter Bird Festival at 2 p.m. in the Fairsite Multipurpose Room.

The city of Galt, in collaboration with the Cosumnes River Preserve and Galt Joint Union Elementary District, is pleased to bring you the 13th annual Winter Bird Festival on Saturday, Feb. 1. Festival guests will enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Cosumnes River Preserve and the incredible opportunity to catch sightings of waterfowl, shorebirds and wildlife in their winter habitat. Festival headquarters at the Chabolla Community Center, 600 Chabolla Avenue, will provide a starting point for exclusive preserve tours, educational presentations, wildlife shows, art displays, wine walk, and hands-on activities. This is a winter celebration you’ll always remember.

Festival headquarters will open at 10 a.m. and will house various hands-on family fun and educational opportunities presented throughout the day.

Every year committee members choose one bird to highlight during the festival. This year’s feature bird is the American Bald Eagle. Keynote speaker Jeffrey Rich will focus his presentation on the majestic Bald Eagle, which was adopted in 1782 as America’s official bird. It has historically been a symbol of freedom and patriotism in the United States of America, and for good reason. The bird is associated with authority and has a fierce beauty that speaks to those who look upon it. Today, the Bald Eagle is a protected species. Once on the brink of extinction, it is currently enjoying a comeback. In his presentation, wildlife and bird photography specialist Jeffrey Rich showcases over 150 of his storytelling photographs of Bald Eagles and shares insight into the birds’ habitat, feeding habits, mating patterns, the care of their young and more. Attendees will marvel over images of birds in flight, in nests with their young, at rest, preening, and capturing prey, as Rich chronicles in detail the daily lives of America’s favorite bird.

This year the festival will proudly display the artwork of Kyra Mitchell. Kyra, a local junior from Liberty Ranch High School, has memories of coming to the Winter Bird Festival since she was a little girl. In addition to being a bird enthusiast, Kyra is also a talented sketch artist. This year the committee is excited to showcase her talent and asked her to provide the artwork for this year’s posters and brochure, hoping this will encourage other young artists to join Kyra in being an integral part of the city of Galt’s Winter Bird Festival future.

There’s plenty to do while visiting festival headquarters, catch a presentation with raptors and other wild animals, hear from the experts about our winter bird friends, browse through the art and food vendors or participate in some of many hands-on activities.

Most workshops are free; however, you can build a bird box for only $5 or get creative and create beautiful home décor for $45.

Teaming up with Blueprint Design Company, the Winter Bird Festival committee is offering the Welcome to Our Bird Nest workshop. For $45, participants will create a beautiful sign for their home. A variety of colors will be available for customization. No experience necessary, this class is for beginners to the advanced DIYers. Walk away with a unique display for your home or a gift for someone you love. Class is at 4 p.m. at the Chabolla Center. Participants must sign up in advance and space is limited.

Other workshops include, Fill the Bill, Nature Game Workshop, and Everybody Can Do Bird Photography.

Many presentation will be available free of charge, including Ducks Unlimited returning with their water dog, Backyard Bird Safari, Bald Eagles by Keynote Speaker Jeff Rich, What is the Cosumnes River Preserve, Wild Things and Conservation Ambassadors, Hawks, Honkers and Hoots, Cal-Waste Recovery Materials and more.

Eight offsite tours are being offered this year, including Water Birds and Waterfowl Behind Closed Gates, Sunrise Photography Tour, Tall Forest & Riparian Habitat Tour, Cal-Waste Recovery Materials Tour, Eco-Friendly Bird Walk at the Winery, Paint & Sip at the Barn and Staten Island Sunset Tour.

Space is limited. Sign up for tours now at www.ci.galt.ca.us/WFB or for more information, call 209-366-7180.

This year’s Winter Bird Festival Committee members are Galt City Council; John Durand, Cosumnes River Preserve and Galt Joint Union Elementary School District; Mike Savino, founding member of Save our Sandhill Cranes; Saige White, Cosumnes River Preserve; Mari Martinez, community member; Kathleen S. Amos, family law attorney; and Amber Veselka, Cosumnes River Preserve and Sacramento County Regional Parks.

Official Sponsors include: The Galt Market, SOS Cranes, Cosumnes River Preserve and Galt Joint Union Elementary School District.

Key Sponsors include: Central Valley Joint Venture; Conservation Farms & Ranches, Staten Island, California; The Galt Herald, SMUD and Cal-Waste Recovery Systems.

13th annual Galt Winter Bird Festival

Saturday, Feb. 1

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Chabolla Community Center

600 Chabolla Avenue, Galt