History and Birding on “The Rock” Alcatraz Island


For further information, contact Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com or (559) 760-1551.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Boat Leaves at 8:45 AM – Trip Ends Early PM
With Ranger John Cantwell and Karen Vandergrift

This special trip to Alcatraz is designed for people who are interested in both the human and natural history of the island and varies from our usual trips focusing more exclusively on birds.

Alcatraz Island

We will begin our morning with a special tour of the island led by Ranger John Cantwell who has worked on Alcatraz for 25 years and currently supervises all National Park Service operations there. Our walking tour will highlight the island’s layers of history including the Civil War, Army, Federal Prison, Indian Occupation, and National Park Service eras. Our special behind-the-scenes tour may include visits to the Officer’s Gun Gallery, the Dungeon, and an extremely rare opportunity to climb to the top of the Lighthouse!

The second half of the tour will focus on the island’s natural history and bird life with up-close and personal opportunities to view breeding colonies of Western Gulls, Brandt’s Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, Black-crowned Night Herons, and Snowy Egrets. Our guide, Karen Vandergrift, leads tours as a Waterbird Docent and has adopted Alcatraz as her “patch” in conjunction with training as a Master Birder. She will share her observations of the natural history and bird life of the island as we tour several active nesting sites.

Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, as we will be covering approximately 2 miles, sometimes on steep and uneven paths. Bring water, a lunch, layered clothing, and binoculars.

The trip will be limited to 25 participants with a cost of $21 each for the round-trip boat ride. We will depart from Pier 33 on the 8:45 AM boat. The tour will end in the early afternoon. However, after the tour, participants may stay on the island and return on any boat they wish. Additional information will be sent before the trip to confirm your reservation. For further information, contact Jane Medley at janermedley@gmail.com or (559) 760-1551.

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