Birding Trip to Anacapa Island

Go in search of Blue-footed Boobies and American Oystercatchers, with Island Packers.

FEATHERS AND BLOWHOLES: If you mention to a pal that you've got an Island Packers date coming down the pike, and you'll be out on the Santa Barbara Channel, on a boat, they're apt to think you'll be on the lookout for gray whales. They'll especially think that if you're taking your trip at the height of gray whale-watching season, which falls over the winter months. But the fleet of island-headed passenger-nice vessels, a fleet that is based both in Oxnard and Ventura, frequently carriers serious fans of the feather, too. There is much crossover, of course, between buffs of all things blowhole and people who want to see what birds are nesting where -- total and complete crossover, for the most part. (If we were to go out on a limb and say bird people and whale people are the very same nature-adoring people, we're fairly sure we'd get no quibble.) Best let your friend know, if you book a spot on the Saturday, Feb. 21 Birding Trip to Anacapa Island, that while you'll be on the watch for whales you'll also have the binocs out in hopes of catching sight of the Channel Islands's annual avian visitors. Which include...

BROWN AND BLUE-FOOTED BOOBIES... and American Oystercatchers, too. The Feb. 21 will be on the lookout for all of these beauties and "a Scrub-Jay or two," too. Plus Brown Pelicans, Double-Crested Cormorants, and "possibly local pairs of Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles" as well. Plus? Other beautiful winged creatures who are calling upon Anacapa during the late winter season. "Close-up views" of Anacapa Arch are part of the voyage, as is a sail through the Anacapa Passage. And, as always, "(s)ightings are not guaranteed but are highly likely." Will you finally see the feathery superstar you've longed to lay eyes on your whole bird-loving life? This could be your chance. Tickets are $80 and the Island Packers boat departs from Oxnard's Channel Island Harbor. And if you happen to spy a whale or three along the way? Call it the cherry on top of this particular Pacific Ocean adventure.

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