Heron Festival pontoon tour offers many opportunities to learn about county's birds

April 2011 News

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. - This weekend the popular Heron Festival and Wildflower Brunch will be held at Clear Lake State Park.

The Wildflower Brunch and pontoon boat tours on Clear Lake are popular features of the festival, and the schedule is filled with a wide variety of nature-oriented speakers, walks and displays.

Each year new Heron Festival activities are added to the mix of perennial favorites to keep the event fresh and interesting.

On Saturday morning, Lake County photography fans won't want to miss this year's keynote speaker Lyle Madeson.

The acclaimed photographer will illustrate his narrative on the nesting cycle of herons and egrets with his spectacular photos of these species.

Special emphasis will be placed on mating behaviors, nest building and fledging.

Madeson's presentation will be given at the Visitor Center Auditorium at 10 a.m.

Also new this year will be a special slide presentation, "Those Amazing `Dancing' Grebes," given by Redbud Audubon Chapter President Marilyn Waits.

Learn about the amazing behaviors of the beloved grebes that frequent Clear Lake by the thousands each year during the breeding season.

The talk will take place in the Visitor Center Auditorium on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Additionally, the Redbud grebe project team will have a display booth on both days explaining the grebe conservation project being conducted jointly with two other Northern California Audubon chapters. The display booth will be located on the Visitor Center porch.

Back by popular demand, Dr. Harry Lyons will present his entertaining "Myths and Music of Clear Lake" on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Visitor Center Auditorium.

The one-hour program mixes biology, music and humor to tell the story of Clear Lake and its more than two million years of existence.

The Heron Festival is in its 17th year and since its founding by the Redbud Audubon Society, the event has grown to become one of Northern California's most popular nature festivals.

Held at the Clear Lake State Park at 5300 Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville, all events except the pontoon boat tours and the Wildflower Brunch are free and open to the public.

Registration for both the boat tours and the brunch are encouraged and can be made by going to the festival website or by calling 707-263-8030. The Web site,www.heronfestival.org, also features the full schedule of events for the two day Heron Festival.

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