Program Overview: On this Yosemite Field School course, held primarily in Ackerson Meadow and at Crane Flat, you’ll explore a range of park habitats, including forests, meadows and rocky cliffs, as you search for and learn about diverse birds. Over the course of three mornings, you’ll get to spend multiple hours birding with your naturalist guide, learning to look for, listen to and identify some of Yosemite’s many avian species, from tiny canyon wrens to powerful peregrine falcons. On at least one day, you’ll also join 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.
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.
Know Before You Go
- When: Thursday, June 10 to Saturday, June 12, 6 am to around 10 am each day
- Where: Ackerson Meadow and Crane Flat
- Registration includes: Three mornings of guided birding, park entry (as needed), and five nights of tent camping at a shared group site at Hetch Hetchy Backpackers Campground (June 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
- Lodging: Tent camping (included), or upgrade to Rush Creek Lodge for an additional fee. Camping and lodging dates cannot be adjusted. The upgrade option expires 30 days before the program.
- Experience level: No experience necessary!
COVID-19: We have implemented special safety measures to keep participants and instructors safe during the ongoing pandemic. For example, participants will hike single-file and keep moving to avoid crowding the trail, and instructors will stop to offer interpretation only when there is ample space to stay at least six feet apart. Please review our COVID-19 program procedures for details.