It was a beautiful clear day for the 13th annual Galt Winter Bird Festival on Saturday, Feb. 1 as hundreds of guests flocked to festival headquarters at the Chabolla Community Center to enjoy the day hearing experts, taking tours, visiting vendors and participating in hands-on crafts and activities.

Tours were packed with eager birders, who enjoyed bus rides out to the Cosumnes River Preserve, where they were able to see a wide variety of birds and wildlife that call Galt their winter home.

Along with the tours out to the Cosumnes River Preserve and a local winery, there were also many free presentations offered by experts throughout the day at festival headquarters.

Although winter birds are the central focus of the festival, a returning favorite of kids and adults alike, Animal Ambassadors from Wild Things, Inc. captured the audience’s attention as children got an up close view of wild animals. Another festival favorite, Hawks, Honkers and Hoots presented many raptors to wow the crowds.

The city of Galt collaborates with the Cosumnes River Preserve and the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District to put on this entertaining and educational festival. Other sponsors include The Galt Market, SOS Cranes, Central Valley Joint Venture, Conservation Farms & Ranches, Staten Island, California, The Galt Herald, SMUD and Cal-Waste Recovery Systems.

The festival kicked off Friday night with the Wine, Beer and Food event, hosted by the Galt District Chamber of Commerce. More than 150 guests toasted the evening as they enjoyed music by Travis Vega, refreshments from five breweries and four wineries, and mouthwatering bites from local restaurants.

Guests enjoyed drinks from Barsetti Vineyards, Cosumnes River Farms, Grace Vineyards and Bray Vineyards, River Rock Brewery, New Helvetia Brewing Company, High Water Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Five Window Beer Company.

Appetizing bites were provided by Aroma Bakery, Brewsters Bar & Grill, The Coffee Shop Bakery, Domino’s, El Arcoiris Mexican Restaurant, Papas & Wings, Mariscos Las Islitas, It’s A Grind, Papa Murphy’s, Velvet Grill & Creamery, StreetZlan, Save Mart, Mr. Pickle’s, and Pastosa by Lucia.