Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Coming soon: The 12th annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua

This post was written by Angie Glaser, 2013 Project Specialist.

On June 14–16 the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua will land in the Eastern Sierra for the 12th consecutive year, bringing with it a record number of participants. Many of the more than 80 field trips, workshops, and presentations still have available space.

Erik Westerlund (right) leads an insect walk during the 2012 Bird Chautauqua. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Trees, wildflowers, bugs and butterflies, writing, sketching birds, poetry, storytelling, photography and image editing, bowl and spoon crafting, birding, and kids’ events are among those with openings. See below for the complete list.

As always, the festival will end with a picnic, free concert, and bird calling contest at Mono Lake County Park, featuring music by The Trespassers and a barbeque lunch for sale to benefit Lee Vining High School. The Bird Chautauqua takes place June 14–16, and is based in Lee Vining, California. For complete information or to register please visit the Bird Chautauqua website. We hope to see you there!

Programs that still have space:


  • Scenic Area Visitor Center clean-up and work party
  • Crimson Wing: Mystery of the flamingos documentary


  • Birding the Bridgeport Valley
  • A birder’s take on bugs
  • Birding Lee Vining Canyon
  • Once upon a twig: Stories of Great Basin trees
  • Fire by friction/bowl and primitive spoon “burning”
  • The writer’s flight
  • Introduction to butterfly watching
  • Birding for little fledglings
  • The impact of wind farms on birds
  • Burned forests and Black-backed Woodpeckers in the Wild West
  • The heritage of bird language and its influence on human nature
  • The Names of Birds: poetry reading
  • Under a waxing moon: Campfire stories


  • Photo walk with Bob Steele
  • Kayaking the south shore of Mono Lake
  • Writing at the edge
  • Introduction to drawing birds
  • A meeting with Dr. Steller
  • Biomimicry: Copying nature’s inventions
  • The sustainable self: Beyond our carbon footprint
  • Introduction to image editing
  • In remembrance of Rich Stallcup
  • Nature stories
  • Artful inquiry: Creative vision in the practice of natural history
  • Remembering Rich Stallcup reception
  • Thinking like a naturalist
  • Enchanted evening: Stories and stars on the lakeshore


  • Birding Deadman Creek
  • Learning the language of birds
  • Holes in heaven
  • Field sketching birds
  • Birding mixed habitats
  • Fields’ guide to Osprey
  • Picnic at County Park