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California

Birding At Monterey Bay

Program No. 11812RJ
Discover birding at its best in the Monterey Bay region. Learn about local ecology and habitats from experts while seeking waterfowl, waders, shorebirds, songbirds, seabirds and more.

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Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

On Campus Private BathOn Campus Upgraded
Clean, comfortable, dormitory lodgings with access to a private bathroom.
Upgraded on-campus faculty housing. Accommodations are newly constructed and feature a large room, queen beds and a private bath.
Filling Fast!
Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,699
On Campus Upgraded 1,999
Oct 6 - Oct 11, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,699
On Campus Upgraded 1,999
Itinerary Note

Meals: 14 total (5B, 1BR, 4L, 4D) This program date takes places at the same time as the Big Band Workshop on Hidden Valley's campus. This features a Big Band Concert and Dance at the end of the week.

Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,699
On Campus Upgraded 1,999
Full Inventory
Dec 1 - Dec 6, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,699
On Campus Upgraded 1,999
Feb 9 - Feb 14, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
Full Inventory
Mar 16 - Mar 21, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
Full Inventory
Mar 30 - Apr 4, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
Itinerary Note

Meals: 14 total (5B, 1BR, 4L, 4D)

Apr 13 - Apr 18, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
May 5 - May 10, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
Full Inventory
Sep 7 - Sep 12, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
Filling Fast!
Oct 5 - Oct 10, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
Itinerary Note

Meals: 14 total (5B, 1BR, 4L, 4D) This program date is Micro Group, featuring our smallest group size with 12 participants or fewer, and takes place at the same time as the Big Band Workshop on Hidden Valley's campus. This features a Big Band Concert and Dance at the end of the week.

Nov 9 - Nov 14, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099
Full Inventory
Nov 30 - Dec 5, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 1,749
On Campus Upgraded 2,099

DATES & PRICES

On Campus Private BathOn Campus Upgraded
Clean, comfortable, dormitory lodgings with access to a private bathroom.
Upgraded on-campus faculty housing. Accommodations are newly constructed and feature a large room, queen beds and a private bath.
Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 2,019
On Campus Upgraded 2,319
Oct 6 - Oct 11, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 2,019
On Campus Upgraded 2,319
Itinerary Note

Meals: 14 total (5B, 1BR, 4L, 4D) This program date takes places at the same time as the Big Band Workshop on Hidden Valley's campus. This features a Big Band Concert and Dance at the end of the week.

Filling Fast!
Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 2,019
On Campus Upgraded 2,319
Filling Fast!
Full Inventory
Dec 1 - Dec 6, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 2,019
On Campus Upgraded 2,319
Filling Fast!
Feb 9 - Feb 14, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Filling Fast!
Full Inventory
Mar 16 - Mar 21, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Filling Fast!
Full Inventory
Mar 30 - Apr 4, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Itinerary Note

Meals: 14 total (5B, 1BR, 4L, 4D)

Filling Fast!
Apr 13 - Apr 18, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Filling Fast!
May 5 - May 10, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Filling Fast!
Full Inventory
Sep 7 - Sep 12, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Filling Fast!
Oct 5 - Oct 10, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Itinerary Note

Meals: 14 total (5B, 1BR, 4L, 4D) This program date is Micro Group, featuring our smallest group size with 12 participants or fewer, and takes place at the same time as the Big Band Workshop on Hidden Valley's campus. This features a Big Band Concert and Dance at the end of the week.

Filling Fast!
Nov 9 - Nov 14, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419
Filling Fast!
Full Inventory
Nov 30 - Dec 5, 2025
On Campus Private Bath 2,069
On Campus Upgraded 2,419

At a Glance

Spend your days birding the famous Monterey Bay, one of the world’s top birding spots, and your evenings with special guests from Hidden Valley's talented faculty. This field-based program is designed for seasoned and beginning birders alike, targeting overall avian diversity and abundance throughout this world class birding destination. See local habitats and endemic species, add to or begin your “life list,” learn to recognize birds by their calls and songs and gain valuable skills for an enjoyable lifetime activity. Regional specialties may include the Yellow-billed Magpie, California Thrasher, White-tailed Kite, California Quail, Wrentit, Gold-crowned Sparrow, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Hummingbirds, Pacific Wren, Western Flycatcher, Hutton’s Vireo, Cormorants, Black Oystercatcher and Tricolored Blackbird.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walking up to 3 miles each day with stops (sometimes a little more); some uneven terrain like beach sand, dirt trails, inclines, and steps. Participants should be able to embark on a boat for a 2 hour cruise.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Embark on a boat excursion along the Elkhorn Slough Estuary, a protected habitat home to over 340 species of birds.
  • Spot egrets, rocky shorebirds, cormorants, passerine and seabirds at Point Lobos Nature Reserve.
  • Enjoy time in Carmel Valley looking for White-tailed Kites and a variety of oak woodland species.

General Notes

All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html. Please note, while we will endeavor to look for all birds described in the program and more, seasonality, weather and birding behavior makes finding birds not guaranteed. The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Amanda Preece
Amanda Preece has a background in ecology, wildlife rehabilitation, and captive bird husbandry, but is most passionate about bird conservation and bringing the joy of bird watching to people from all backgrounds. She has a B.S. in biology and a master's in environmental science. Amanda has been intensely birding the Monterey Bay region since moving here in 2011. She loves watching birds, riding her bike, and advocating for a more equitable world.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Rick Yramategui
Rick Yramategui View biography
Rick Yramategui first performed a Joplin rag at Shakey's Pizza Parlor in Los Alamitos, California while in high school in the 70s. He received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Whitworth College. He serves as pastor of Carmel Valley Community Chapel, performs with the Carmel Piano Trio, and was the pianist for a revival of George Gershwin's musical, “Oh, Kay!” He is passionate about the connection between music and spirituality.
Profile Image of Matthew Shea
Matthew Shea View biography
Matthew Shea’s roots in the Carmel Valley go back two generations. The son of a master gardener, Matthew grew up with an inherent understanding of the valley, its horticulture, and ecology. After graduating from Oregon State University and successfully managing 1000’s of acres of vineyards in Oregon, he returned to focus on the Estate Vineyards of Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley. Using his background in organic, sustainable agriculture, Matt has brought a balance to the vineyard through increasing diversity, composting, and water and soil management.
Profile Image of Peter Meckel
Peter Meckel View biography
Peter Meckel is the founder and General Director of Hidden Valley Music Seminars. Born and raised in the Midwest, he attended university at Rockford University in Illinois, and Occidental College in California. His leadership of Hidden Valley has resulted in one of the most respected opera training centers in America and a major contributor of arts education programs for vocalists, instrumentalists, and dancers. Students from throughout the world come to study with master teachers from many of America’s most prestigious orchestras and opera companies.
Profile Image of Jim Covel
Jim Covel View biography
Jim Covel recently retired as Director of Training & Interpretation for the Monterey Bay Aquarium where he trained and managed hundreds of volunteers. He has worked as a park ranger and interpreter, leading environmental education programs for the Southgate Recreation and Park District in Sacramento and the East Bay Regional Park District in the SF Bay Area. Jim has also served as a visiting lecturer at UC Davis, CSU Sacramento and CSU Monterey Bay, teaching courses from resource management to outdoor recreation and ecotourism.
Profile Image of Rene Kimzey
Rene Kimzey View biography
Rene Kimzey is a Hoosier at heart, transplanted to California a decade ago. She and her rescue dog, Peg, reside in a historic home in lovely Old Town Monterey which they embrace for its beauty and cultural richness. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s of education from George Mason University. After a career in healthcare, she delved into special events work, volunteering her time at many local organizations. Rene enjoys being a Group Leader for Hidden Valley, sharing her passion for Monterey, and helping others.
Profile Image of Amanda Preece
Amanda Preece View biography
Amanda Preece has a background in ecology, wildlife rehabilitation, and captive bird husbandry, but is most passionate about bird conservation and bringing the joy of bird watching to people from all backgrounds. She has a B.S. in biology and a master's in environmental science. Amanda has been intensely birding the Monterey Bay region since moving here in 2011. She loves watching birds, riding her bike, and advocating for a more equitable world.
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