Explore Yosemite’s Newest Habitat: Birding in Ackerson Meadow

Explore Yosemite’s Newest Habitat: Birding in Ackerson Meadow

Explore Yosemite’s newest protected habitat and the species that live there.
April 21, 2018 to April 22, 2018

Ackerson Meadow became part of Yosemite National Park in late 2016, thanks, in part, to the generous support of Conservancy donors. Now, scientists are studying the once privately owned meadow on Yosemite’s western edge to learn more about the animals and plants that live there.

On this guided weekend adventure, you’ll get to experience the meadow’s springtime beauty and learn about the diverse species that rely on the newly protected landscape. Look for bright wildflowers, lush grasses and signs of animal life. As you listen for birds, learn about the park’s long-running songbird research program, which recently expanded to Ackerson Meadow. Before you leave, you’ll have a good grasp of the meadow’s history, of the collaborative effort that helped make it part of the park and of the important role it plays in supporting a variety of vulnerable species.

Included with your registration:

  • Two full days in Ackerson Meadow and surrounding areas (Saturday, April 21, through Sunday, April 22)
  • Park entry (as needed)
  • Three nights of shared camping (as needed, arriving April 20 and departing April 23) at Hodgdon Campground at the Big Oak Flat Entrance Gate
  • Note: There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass or campsites. Information about upgrading your accommodations to stay at Evergreen Lodge will be emailed to you after you sign up. The option to upgrade expires 45 days before the start of the program.
Experience Level: No experience necessary, but need to be physically fit.
Hiking: Easy–moderate hiking
Elevation: 4,600'
Registration fee: $169
Naturalist Guide: Karyn “Kestrel” O’Hearn
View a suggested day hike packing list
Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn

Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn

Karyn "Kestrel" O'Hearn began following birds around as an undergraduate at University of California, Santa Cruz, in the 1990s.  After working as a naturalist at several outdoor schools, she made her way to the Sierra Nevada, and ultimately landed in Yosemite National Park, where she has worked seasonally as a ranger-naturalist since 2002. Kestrel has also served as a docent and trip leader for Yosemite Area Audubon, designed and led programs for Sierra Foothill Conservancy, worked as a middle school science teacher, and been a co-instructor for a California Naturalist course at UC Merced. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the Avian Sciences Graduate Group at UC Davis, where she is investigating the effects of fire on bird species composition. She looks forward to returning each summer to live and work in Yosemite's high country, where she can learn from and share her enthusiasm for birds and natural environments.