27th Annual

San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival

February 11-13, 2022


Dear Flyway Festival Friends and Fans,

Migrate, ebb and flow. Wild within and without us.

This evening, the Napa River rushes to the shore, overflowing its banks before me in a combination of high tide and swollen flooding with the distinctive lapping from the Ferry’s deep and powerful wake.

Nitro sits silently close to me on a small rise above the roadway to the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve where we spend a portion of every afternoon and evening. Where we have sat side-by-side every day since the day we were kept from entering the gate to the parkland my fellow volunteer pioneers and I opened to the public for the first time in 150 years, during the 2007 San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival.

Imagine the exhilaration, then! About this same time of evening, as the winter sun was setting on the other side of the bluff, we gathered for guided outings and a peek at our soon to be visitor center – a cavernous mass of Bethlehem steel girders formed the ceiling above, surrounded on 4 sides by 8-inch thick steel re-enforced poured concrete walls attached to deep concrete flooring, 6-10 ft thick, perched on the former marshes of the same River I view, tonight. So little has changed in the now, not 150 years, but 165 years since the Naval Ammunition Depot was established here on the original hill and marshes of the south end of the Shipyard. I sit amongst the great blue gum eucalyptus trees that were planted along the route to the visitor center, a half a mile away, as the winter clouds in the distant sky take on a slight pink hue.

Pacific tree or chorus frogs, croak. A hummingbird trill alerts all in the area, that its’ nest and territory are near. The deep repetitive voice of a great-horned owl emanates from the mixed forest of coast oak, acacia and eucalyptus on the bluff behind me.

Toyon berries hang dense, deep red and ripened on their host native shrubs. New growth glows almost flourescently on the young oaks while the winter glimmer of golden yellow has muted some on the willow across the way. The willow to the north, was adorned with bright yellow into December and then, in a mysterious moment, it appears almost ephemeral with not a leaf. How does Fall just one day become winter?

A eucalyptus “button” falls near us. Another solo frog calls from its world of wetness. The owl hoots, once more. A duck’s voice wafts from the river. There is this silence here that so many visitors and users remark on. The quiet. The peace. The magic.    click to continue


Wilderness-wild near us

Join us for our 27th annual celebration of the migration through San Francisco Bay of more than 1 million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese, hawks and other wildlife at the peak of migration. February 11-3, 2022

Please make your donation to the Flyway Festival payable to:

Mare Island

Heritage Trust

816 Branciforte St.

Vallejo, CA 94590

Donate online

Our Flyway Festival is held at the peak of migration. That means the dead of winter in San Francisco Bay. But, it is rain or shine!  VISIT THE FACEBOOK GROUP PAGE FOR DETAILS ABOUT OUR IN-PERSON OUTINGS and VIRTUAL WILDLIFE EXPO FLYWAY FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 11-13, 2022.


Photo: upper left: canvasback duck, Rita LeRoy. Photos: upper right eucalyptus and middle toyon, Myrna Hayes, Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve gate; upper right, hummingbird and lower right, great-horned owl, D.L. Lang.



Sierra Club

Redwood Chapter

The 2021 Virtual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival February 5, 6 and 7 2021 included live stream guided bird watching field trips on and off Mare Island, a boat ride, Nature and History Presentations and history tours of Mare Island. Norcal bats showed their bats live. To view the 2021 virtual Flyway Festival go to our FACEBOOK GROUP page. Scroll down to Feb. 5, 6, 7, 2021 posts.