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Autumn Birding Hike

October 15 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am


The bay area has some special guests that have arrived early in their winter migration: golden-crowned sparrows and white-crowned sparrows. Normally arriving during the third week of October, these large sparrows travel from their breeding sites in northern US and Canada. The golden-crowned sparrow has a cap with a lemon-yellow stripe surrounded by black stripes, and the white-crowned sparrow has a black and white-striped cap. 

October is a great time to see these large sparrows before they lose their bright plumage later in the winter. The best place to spot these seed-eating birds is roosting in dense thickets in Miwok Meadows.

For this month’s birding hike Jerry Coe will show you how to identify these and other common birds in the field and how to use essential tools like binoculars and bird guides. You will also learn how to identify birds by observing flight patterns, noting body shapes and sizes, hearing songs, and watching behaviors.

Jerry Coe is a naturalist with over eight years of intensive training in ornithological field identification. He spent 15 years as a volunteer in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park, using bird activities to assess the health of habitats. Jerry has also guided outdoor expeditions all over the world.


Date: Saturday, October 15

Time: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Location: Turtle Back Trailhead

Walking difficulty: Easy; 1½ miles 




Space is limited; reservations required. 

Free (donations appreciated).

Cancellations notified via email.

Questions? Email programs@friendsofchinacamp.org or call (415) 456-0766.


Photo: Golden-crowned sparrow by George Pagos | Macaulay Library


October 15
8:00 am - 10:00 am

NOTICE: Some sites at the Back Ranch Meadows Campground will be closed Sunday through Thursday from November 14, 2022 until May 13, 2023 due to construction. The group site will remain open during the week. Go to reservecalifornia.com for available reservations.

ADVISORY: December 3, 2023, 8am-2pm. Footrace beginning at Miwok Meadows. Expect increased foot traffic on Shoreline Trail, Oak Ridge Trail, and Bayview trail. Plan your trip to the park accordingly. See calendar for details.