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Experience Level

Easy

Hiking

6-7 miles/day

Elevation

4,000 feet

Registration Fee

$279

Program Overview: When we start paying attention, every moment outside becomes exponentially more interesting — whether in Yosemite Valley or your own backyard. The timing of this class in early June coincides with especially high bird activity in Yosemite Valley. In this early summer season, migratory birds have arrived and begun their courtship, territory defense, foraging, nest building, and tending to eggs, nestlings, and fledglings.

This course will help you tap into your keenest observation skills while your instructor shares interesting things about each bird that you encounter. You’ll likely see many different bird species, but beyond that, your guide will paint a more complete picture of these diverse birds, the lives that they lead and the unique adaptations that they have developed to survive.

A special focus on Sunday will be peregrine falcons as we join a National Park Service biologist who monitors the park’s peregrine populations. Through a spotting scope we will observe an eyrie, or nesting site, where we might see peregrine nestlings getting ready to fledge, peregrine parents delivering food to their young, or young fledglings awkwardly flying. During this time, you will learn about the current peregrine populations, including the history of this iconic bird in Yosemite and how it has rebounded from near extinction thanks to successful and creative conservation efforts.

If you are able to stay in the park longer, consider combining this class with our Bird Banding course starting on June 8th.

Know Before You Go:

  • Program dates: Saturday, June 3 through Sunday, June 4, from 7:30 am – 2:30 pm each day.
  • Program location: Yosemite Valley
  • What’s included: Two 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 1 after 12 pm and must depart June 5 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: Upper Pines in Yosemite Valley Lodging: Upgrade to Curry Village 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, must be physically fit to walk at elevation with a backpack.

What’s not included:

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

View a suggested packing list.