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Experience Level



4-5 miles/day


5,000 feet

Registration Fee


Program Overview: Begin this multi-day adventure with a day of birding in Yosemite’s Hodgdon Meadow area with a naturalist guide. Your first day will be spent visiting different meadows in the park to look and listen for birds. You’ll learn about some of the common birds that we’ll likely see up close and personal over the course of the trip, and get an orientation to the Yosemite MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) bird-banding program.

Spend the next two days primarily in Ackerson Meadow and at Crane Flat, where you’ll explore a range of park habitats, including forests, meadows and rocky cliffs. Over the course of two mornings, you’ll learn to identify some of Yosemite’s many avian species, from tiny canyon wrens to powerful peregrine falcons. You’ll be joined by ornithologist Sarah Stock, a Yosemite National Park wildlife biologist, for a close-up, hands-on look at bird-banding, the special technique scientists use to track and study birds. You’ll see researchers remove birds from mist nets, carefully place a band on the bird’s leg, and measure and record information about each individual. Through all of this you will find that our biologists put the safety and care of these birds first — they care deeply about the birds and have been well trained to avoid stressing them out during this process.

By the time your course wraps up at midday on Saturday, you’ll have a deeper understanding of songbird conservation, bird identification techniques, and the role that resident and migratory birds play in healthy ecosystems. With another night at your campsite, you can spend the rest of Saturday and Sunday birding in the park on your own or with some of your new friends from the course.

Know Before You Go:

  • Program dates: Thursday, June 8 from 7:30 am – 2 pm, Friday, June 9 from 6-11 am, and Saturday, June 10 from 6-11 am
  • Program location: Hodgdon Meadow, Ackerson Meadow and Crane Flat
  • What’s included: Three full days of guided instruction by a Yosemite Naturalist, one free day to enjoy the park on your own, park entry (as needed), and shared tent camping (camping dates cannot be altered). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
  • Camping dates: Participants can arrive on June 7 after 12 pm and must depart June 12 by 11 am. There are two shared campsites among all the participants. We guarantee tent camping only. If you choose to bring a recreational vehicle, we cannot guarantee you will have a parking spot. Please be prepared to tent camp. A picnic table, bear locker and fire pit are provided at each site. Campsites fit 6 people per site.
  • Campground location: Hodgdon Meadow Campground
  • Lodging: Upgrade to Rush Creek Lodge for an additional fee. Lodging dates match camping dates. Lodging blocks expire 30 days prior to the program. Details on using our Group Code to book lodging will be emailed to you immediately after you register.
  • Experience level: All levels welcome.

What’s not included:

  • Gear or meals during your program.
  • Camping gear or meals in the shared campsites.
  • Transportation.

View a suggested packing list.