From Butterflies and Birds to Reptiles and Jellyfish, explore East Bay Parks wildlife

From a Butterfly and Bird festival to Rock ‘n’ Reptiles, East Bay Parks highlight wildlife this week
Coyote Hills Regional Park  hosts a Butterfly and Bird Festival on June 5, 2022. (Pete Cruz photo)

SAN FRANCISCO EAST BAY AREA, CA (May 27, 2022) — The beauty of things with wings will be celebrated during the Butterfly and Bird Festival from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.

The festival promotes the idea of increasing the population of butterflies and birds in the Bay Area. Activities will include garden tours, educational speakers, and family hands-on activities. Visitors can learn how to create wildlife-friendly habitat in their own backyards.

The festival is free and open to all ages, though parent participation is required. Registration is not necessary. The Coyote Hills Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible. Due to COVID concerns, masks are required indoors and optional outside. Social distancing must be maintained.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3220.

Bird watching

Nearby at Ardenwood Historic Farm, there’s a bird-watching program in observance of Black Birders Week, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 4.

The group will roam the farm in search of migratory birds in the gardens, groves and fields.

Everyone is welcome. No registration is necessary and the program is free. Coffee and snacks, binoculars and birding books will be provided. Meet at the park’s front entrance.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. For information call 510-544-3187.

There’s also a bird-watching walk from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 4 at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton for ages eight and up with naturalist Kristina Parkison. Both beginning and experienced birders are welcome.

Locate Shadow Cliffs at 2500 Stanley Boulevard. This free program requires registration. Call 888-327-2757, option 2.

Fliers to floaters

Photo by Marta Costa on Unsplash

Butterflies also will benefit from a program scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. Participants will help prepare the center’s butterfly and native plant gardens for summer. Volunteers can choose between weeding, pruning, mulching and general cleanup.

This free program requires registration. To register, click here. For information, call 510-544-3187.

And from fliers to floaters: a free program which focuses on jellyfish happens at the center from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. the same day at Family Nature Fun Hour.

Find Crab Cove Visitor Center at 1252 McKay Ave. off Alameda’s Central Avenue.

All creatures great and small

Pete Cruz photo

“Rock’n’ Reptiles” describes a free program from 11:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 5 at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley, with naturalist Jenna S. Collins.

Find out what a turtle eats, how snakes move and what scales feel like.

You can find the center at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. Guests must wear masks. For information, call 510-544-2233.

The “Little Things, Big Deal” program runs from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 2 to 3 p.m. on both Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley, with naturalist Wyatt Moore.

The topic is plankton, the microscopic plants and animals that Delta communities and wildlife depend on, but which are being impacted adversely by human actions.

Guests aged two and older must wear masks to this free event.

You will find Big Break at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 510-544-3050.

You can always find something interesting going on at park district visitor centers. For a full list of programs, visit the website,, and click on “Things To Do” at the top of the home page.

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at