Autumn is festival season with many events occurring just as leaves are turning color. Wildlife migrations and mating seasons are often celebrated.
A major migration of humpback, blue and killer whales and dolphins continues to December in Monterey Bay, where large gatherings of humpback whales put on spectacular shows corralling schools of anchovies, then rising together to feed on them. Whale watching trips take spectators out near the feeding families of whales. CLICK HERE for a general listing of available trips.
In September and early October, it’s rutting season for California’s Tule and Roosevelt Elk, seen at Pt. Reyes National Seashore in Sonoma County and Redwood National and State Parks in Humboldt County. The Elk Meadow Cabins at Orick are a prime location to base and watch the elk rut. Find more at redwoodparklodge.com.
On Sept. 26, the 21st annual Salmon Festival occurs at the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville. This event includes salmon cooking demos and tastings, “non-stop entertainment,” tours of the hatchery where spawning salmons can be seen, kayak trips on the Feather River, a river cleanup event, a 3k color run, a dance, health fair and river cleanup. More is found online at salmonfestivaloroville.org.
November 13 – 15, the California Swan Festival occurs in Marysville with field trips and tours, presentations and workshops. More is found at caswanfestival.com.
In mid November, Monarch butterflies return to California’s Coast (Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove and Pismo Beach) from their year-long migration to Utah and Canada. Eucalyptus trees hang heavy with the brightly colored butterflies. CLICK HERE to see a report on the butterflies.
More about viewing California wildlife and attending wildlife festivals is found at cawatchablewildlife.org.