Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours, the first three weekends of each fall/winter month through February at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi. The docent-led tours start approximately 90 minutes before sundown and run to about 30 minutes after sunset. Pre-tour registration is required online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/delta/cranetour and may be made up to six weeks in advance. Suggested donation is $10 per adult. The South unit of Woodbridge ER is accessible to the public at any time. It features informative interpretive panels, and viewing of sandhill crane ‘fly-over’ at sundown is common. The Woodbridge North unit (accessible only by tour) includes a bird-viewing blind and typically receives the ‘fly-in’ where the cranes come to roost for the night. For more information please visit the website or call (209) 948-7708.
Guided Swan Tours in rice fields near Marysville, Saturdays in January, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Driving tours along a short route with very little walking required. See tundra swans, ducks, geese, cranes, shorebirds, white pelicans, herons, egrets and raptors. Pre-registration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/SwanTours. Tours are free, but registrants are encouraged to make a donation online to the California Wildlife Foundation to support this program. For more information please call (916) 358-2852.
Weekends — Guided Wetland Tours of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 to 2 p.m. at 3207 Rutherford Rd, Gridley (95948). On the Pacific Flyway at the base of the Sutter Buttes, Gray Lodge WA is one of the premier birding spots in northern California. This public land provides appealing habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife. Migrating ducks arrive through fall and winter populations grow to hundreds of thousands. Local experts lead a 0.3-mile stroll on a paved trail to an elevated viewing deck and discuss wildlife adaptations, natural history, conservation efforts and how to identify wildlife. Tours are included in the $4 entrance fee and self-guided visitors are also welcome. Tours are cancelled in heavy rain. Please make reservations for groups of 12 or more. For information or scheduling, contact the Gray Lodge WA Naturalist Office at (530) 846-7505 or email@example.com, and visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/wa/region2/graylodge/index.html.
Weekends — Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks, every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use fee is $4.32 per person, age 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. Directions and more information at www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.
Every Monday — Volunteer Stewardship Field Crew Mondays at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Rd., Royal Oaks (95076), 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Help preserve natural habitat by doing seed collection, planting, trail maintenance and weeding introduced species. Details at www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html or www.elkhornslough.org.
1 — California Department of Fish and Game becomes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
3 —Flyway Nights Lecture Series: Dave Feliz, Manager of Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve, 7 p.m. at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area headquarters. Topics are generally wetland-related and feature local issues relating to wetlands and/or avian species, ethnobotany, fish passage, or local history. Join the Foundation and local experts for a night of enrichment and inspiration. Refreshments will be served. A $5 donation per person or $10 per family is suggested at the door, excluding Yolo Basin Foundation Members. For more information go to www.yolobasin.org.
10 — San Francisco Bay Harbor Safety Committee meeting, 10 a.m. at the Port of Richmond Harbormaster’s Office, 1340 Marina Way South, Richmond (94804). For more information please see www.sfmx.org/support/hsc or call Jeff Cowan at (916) 324-6450.
10-13 — International Sportsmen’s Expo at Cal Expo, Sacramento. Visit Department of Fish and Wildlife displays where staff will answer questions, demonstrate online license sales and sell the CDFW Warden Stamp that supports CDFW enforcement and helps fund the purchase of equipment ($5). Visit the enforcement display trailer with enclosed laser shot game. Adults $15, kids and active military (with military I.D.) free. Additional information at www.sportsexpos.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewlocation&locationnumber=1.
15— CDFW Climate College lecture: Go Big or Go Home: Collaborative Partnerships in a Changing Climate, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Natural Resources Agency Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). It will also be broadcast live via WebEx. Guest speakers are Diana Craig, Regional Wildlife Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service, and Emily Young, Senior Director of Environment Analysis and Strategy, San Diego Foundation. Lectures are designed for CDFW employees but open to our partners and the public. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up if not already registered for the course, and indicate whether you intend to participate in person or via WebEx. Please register at least two days prior to the lecture. More information at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Climate_and_Energy/Climate_Change/Climate_College/.
15 — Deadline to apply for hold permit-only wild pig hunts, Feb. 1-3 at Tejon Ranch. Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply through the Automated License Data System. A $10 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. To apply for these hunt permits please see www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/ols/. Step-by-step instructions are at www.wildlife.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/share/.
16 — Statewide Area (oil spill) Contingency Planning meeting, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 1646 Front St., San Diego (92101). More information is at www.rrt9.org/go/site/2763/.
24-25 —Rangeland Science Symposium and California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Summit, University of California, Davis – Freeborn Hall. Two-day event will feature diverse presentations and discussions by leading scientists, researchers, and resource and land management experts on striking a balance between conservation and rangeland objectives, and opportunities to enhance both agricultural production and environmental goals. For more information please visit www.carangeland.org/calendarevents/2013summit.html.
25 — Port of San Diego Harbor Safety Committee meeting, 10 a.m. to noon at the Port Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego (92101). For more information, please contact Jack Prescott at email@example.com or (858) 637-5570.
More outdoors and nature-oriented events that are not sponsored by CDFW are on the online calendar at www.wildlife.ca.gov/events/.