April’s Point Reyes Birding Festival for Medicine from Nature


Those who really know me, know I’m somewhat of a bird geek. I grew up in the country, our TV got 2 1/2 channels, and our phone service was so geared to rural living that we shared a ‘party line.’ So the out-of-doors was where it was at. And boy was it! Birds were radical, I soon found, and became fairly adept at identifying hawks and doves, towhees and waxwings, at a young age.

My father gave me binoculars before I was five years old and I think my first book was The Sunset Magazine-issue ‘Introduction to Western Birds.’ Owls, eagles and egrets—I found all of them wondrous and inspiring. When college got confusing, I switched my major so I could work summers for the Predatory Bird Research Group, dabbling in what it meant to be a field biologist.

I thought that’s what I’d do after college, applying for a coveted internship at The Point Reyes Bird Observatory, getting accepted only after my life choices found me pointing my compass toward writing, and Colorado, and a lot of other places on the map since then. Nonetheless, once a bird lover, always a bird lover: It’s no accident I got married at a local bird sanctuarylast year.

So I was both pleased and sorry — I’ll be traveling elsewhere this weekend so will miss it—  to hear that The Point Reyes Birding Festival is starting this Friday, April 26 and running through the weekend. The festival features birding trips, informative talks and a wine and dessert reception to compare notes with your fellow birders. Even if your interest in birds is cursory, you really should go if you’re in the area. Point Reyes is truly one of the most beautiful and diverse places in the world. And what better way is there to learn about the avian world than from the host of master birds and ornithologists who will be on hand?
Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival April 26-28
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
P.O. Box 609
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 

Deborah Crooks
Deborah Crooks (www.DeborahCrooks.com) is a writer, performing songwriter and recording artist based in San Francisco whose lyric driven and soul-wise music has drawn comparison to Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde and Natalie Merchant.

Singing about faith, love and loss, her lyrics are honed by a lifetime of writing and world travel while her music draws on folk, rock, Americana and the blues. She released her first EP "5 Acres" in 2003 produced by Roberta Donnay, which caught the attention of Rocker Girl Magazine, selecting it for the RockerGirl Discoveries Cd. In 2007, she teamed up with local producer Ben Bernstein to complete "Turn It All Red" Ep, followed by 2008's "Adding Water to the Ashes" CD, and a second full-length CD "2010. She's currently working on a third CD to be released in 2013.

Deborah's many performance credits include an appearance at the 2006 Millennium Music Conference, the RockerGirl Magazine Music Convention, IndieGrrl, at several of the Annual Invasion of the GoGirls at SXSW in Austin, TX, the Harmony Festival and 2009's California Music Fest, MacWorld 2010, Far West Fest and many other venues and events. She toured the Northwest as part "Indie Abundance Music, Money & Mindfulness" (2009) with two other Bay Area artists, and followed up with "The Great Idea Tour of the Southwest in March 2010 with Jean Mazzei.
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