Family Nature Hour: Kids ages 5 and older learn about the world around them with stories, games and activities. Each class covers a different topic. 2-3 p.m. Jan. 5: Animal Adaptations. Jan. 12: Animal Tracking. Jan. 26: Marsh Habitat. Feb. 2: Birding. Feb. 16: Reptiles. Parent participation required. Coyote Hills Visitor Center, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont. 510-544-3220, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Grab a snack and some water and take a walk-up Wildcat Peak. For ages 8 and older. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Jan. 5. Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley. 510-544-2233, email@example.com.
Beneficial Insects: Who they are, why you want them and how to attract and keep them. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 8. Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave., Alameda. www.alamedabackyardgrowers.org.
Ohlone Humane Society: Meets from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 8, Fremont Main Library, 2450 Stevenson Blvd. www.ohlonehumanesociety.org.
Adopt A Rescued Rabbit: Contra Costa Rabbit Rescue and Contra Costa County Animal Services will have rescued rabbits available for adoption from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 11-12 at Petco, 1170 Arnold Drive, Martinez. Free nail trims and grooming are also available. See currently available rabbits at www.ccasd.org and www.contracostarabbitrescue.org.
Animal Signs and Homes: Every animal needs a home. Search for tracks, scat and homes to find out who lives there. 1:30-3 p.m. Jan. 12. Tilden Nature Area, Environmental Education Center, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. www.ebparksonline.org, 888-327-2757.
Trout basics: Learn the basics of trout fishing including gear selection, tackle and rigging, fish behavior and bait selection. The course is designed for those who have experience fishing but want additional knowledge specifically about trout fishing. Valid California fishing license required for ages 16 and older. Parent participation required for kids ages 5-15. 8-10 a.m. Jan. 12. Shadow Cliffs, 2500 Stanley Blvd., Pleasanton. $21 adults, $19 child. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.
Bird Watching for Beginners: Learn about the use of binoculars, how to use a bird guide and identify birds seen on the trail. Recommended for ages 10 and older. Dress warm; wear comfortable shoes. Heavy rain cancels. Jan. 13. Don Edwards Refuge, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont. Information, 510-792-0222.
Black cat sale: Community Concern for Cats has an abundance of black cats and adoption fees have been reduced for black and black "tuxedo" cats. Through Jan. 13 kittens under 1 year are $50; cats 1 year and older are $35. Adoption sites: 1-4 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek. Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, 3610 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. 1-4 p.m. Pet Food Express, 2158 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill. www.communityconcernforcats.org.
Nature Area Fairy Tales: Take a short hike and hear some tales inspired by nature. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Jan. 20. Environmental Education Center, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. www.ebparksonline.org, 888-327-2757.
Little Farmers: An after-school farm adventure for ages 5-7, accompanied by an adult. No younger siblings. 3-5 p.m. Jan. 23 and Feb. 20. Tilden Nature Area, Environmental Education Center, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. $8. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.
Get up close with a Tarantula: Learn about their unique secluded life, their delicate nature and their annual fall exodus. Includes a fun craft. 1-2 p.m. Jan. 26. Sunol Regional Wilderness, 1895 Geary Road, Sunol. www.ebparksonline.org, 888-327-2757.
Minus Tide Exploration: Explore for animals in the lowest tide zones, then warm up with hot cider. Bring a flashlight and jacket. Rain cancels. 4:30-6 p.m. Jan. 27 and Feb. 10. Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.
Benefit for Valley Humane Society: Enjoy a crab dinner while helping out the Valley Humane Society. Includes fresh cracked crab, pasta Caesar salad, bread, dessert and coffee or tea with a no host bar of wine, beer and soft drinks. 6-10 p.m. Feb. 9. 11600 Shannon Ave., Dublin. $45. $50 after Jan. 19. www.valleyhumane.org, 925-323-8517.
Animal Feeding at Ardenwood: Check for eggs, bring hay to the livestock and learn the animals' favorite foods. 3 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 510-544-2797, www.ebparks.org.
Adopt a small animal: Chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits and rats from North Star Rescue, Contra Costa Rabbit Rescue and Antioch City Shelter will be available for adoption from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, through Jan. 26, at Pet Food Express, 609 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville. Free nail trims for small animals available too. To see currently available animals, visit www.northstarrescue.org.
Fish feeding time: Get close to crabs, flounder, perch, pipefish and more -- while they eat. 3-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Jan.-Feb. Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Storytime and nature fun: Kids meet characters like the Lorax, hermit crabs and "Swimmy the Fish" through stories, then have fun with live animals, crafts, scavenger hunts and nature videos. 11 a.m. Sundays, Jan.-Feb. Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187, email@example.com.
Monarch Butterfly Walks: Tour Ardenwood's monarch overwintering site on an easy stroll of less than a mile. Search for clusters of butterflies hanging from eucalyptus branches and learn about their migration. 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through January. Ardenwood, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.
V-I-Peek programs: New programs at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum offer a behind-the-scenes opportunity to see what it's like to work with their unique collection of animals. Eagle Encounter: Learn from eagle handlers what it's like to work with these birds, help prepare a meal and get premium seating for the exhibit hall presentation of Raptors! Keeper Experience: Meet resident animal ambassadors (reptile, bird and mammal) up close and personal and help animal keepers prepare meals, create enrichment activities and assist with a public presentation. Space is limited. Participants must be 10 years or older and advanced registration is required. $175 per person; $150 members. $275 per guardian/child combination; $250 members. 925-935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.
Bay Area Pet Expo: Featuring more than 150 exhibitors, pet costume and talent contest, agility demonstrations, adoptions, discount vaccinations, family entertainment and more. Meet Shorty and Hercules from Animal Planet's "Pit Boss." Pets are welcome but must be on a fixed lead with proof of age-appropriate vaccinations. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 12. Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road, San Jose. Free. $8 parking. www.bayareapetexpo.com.
Fishing in the City: Learn to fish clinics teach the basics of fishing to children and adolescents ages 5-15. Equipment and tackle are provided. There is no charge for the clinics but there may be a park entrance fee. Each adult may bring two children; a driver's license is required for a rod loan. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dog Book Reading Club: Do you love dogs? Want to learn more about their behavior, training, learning, body language, and using positive training methods? The Humane Society Silicon Valley Dog Book Reading Club meets from 2-4 p.m. fourth Sundays monthly to discuss a different book. 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. Free. 408-262-2133, www.hssv.org.
San Francisco Animal Welfare Commission: Meets at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 10. City Hall, Room 408, 1 Doctor Carlton B Goodlett Place.
Dog Training Classes: Use positive reinforcement and fun games to help your dog learn better behavior at this six-week class. Dogs do not attend the first class. 6-7 p.m. beginning Jan. 10., Pacifica Community Center, 540 Crespi Drive., Pacifica. 650-888-4743, www.PawsitiveThinking.com.
San Francisco Naturalist Society Beach Cleanup: Pick up trash and look for shorebirds along 1.5 miles of Ocean Beach. Noon, Jan. 12. Meet on the steps at the end of Taraval. Supplies provided. 415-681-7290.
Puppy Socials: Got a new puppy under 6 months? Bring him or her to the K9 Scrub Club for fun and socialization, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, through Jan. 29. 1734 Church St., San Francisco. Free. 415-648-2582, http://k9scrubclub.com/san-francisco-store/events/puppy-social-9.html.
AROUND THE STATE
Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival: Join Morro Coast Audubon Society for its 17th Winter Bird Festival, Jan. 18-21. The area is recognized for its diversity of both resident and wintering birds and at last years festival over 200 species of birds were identified. Registration ends Jan. 6. www.morrobaybirdfestival.org.
Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway: Takes place Jan. 24-27 in Chico. Registration and information, www.snowgoosefestival.org.
Yolo Basin Wildlife Area: Tour the 16,000-acre wildlife area with an experienced field trip leader. View flooded seasonal and permanent wetlands, native grasslands and young riparian forests. Depending on the season, look for migrating and resident waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors and wading birds. 9 a.m.-noon, second Saturdays monthly, through April. www.yolobasin.org/events.cfm.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Guided Wetlands Tours: A wildlife naturalist will lead a group (minimum of 18 people) through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Learn wildlife identification and behavior patterns, conservations efforts and more. The experience can be customized to include requested information, along a half-mile walking route. For information and scheduling, call 530-846-7505 or email email@example.com. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region2/graylodge/index.html.
Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use is $4.32 per person, ages 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.
MOBILE ADOPTION SITES
Contra Costa County Animal Services
Halo Pet Adoptions
Send animal related events to firstname.lastname@example.org.