The 3-day Grebe Festival in mid-August at Chester, California, is focused on — you guessed it — freshwater diving birds with uniquely lobed toes. They’re neither ducks, nor loons. Grebes make up a 23-25-million-year-old line of birds more closely related to flamingos.
Grebe Festival founder
The Plumas Audubon Society founded the Grebe Festival and manages everything from talks on grebe research to kayak tours of Lake Almanor, a famous home of Clark’s and Western Grebes. These similar species are famous for their long necks and their toe-thrashing “rushing” courtship displays to impress nearby females.
Registration for the Grebe Festival usually opens in late-June. About half the roughly 25 field trips are sold out by the time the festival starts in August. The festival draws a couple hundred people from across California and showcases northern California’s extraordinary natural beauty.
There is a small registration fee to participate in the event, and part of the money is used to help fund the Plumas Audubon Society’s ongoing conservation, education and monitoring efforts in the Feather River Region.