By Ned MacKay
The month of May will be welcomed with maypole dancing, giant bubble blowing, crafts for the whole family and other diversions during a May Day Celebration Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley.
Festivities will be in and around the Environmental Education Center, located at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. A special feature will be the Berkeley Morris Dancers, who will perform from 11 a.m. to noon.
And there’s more. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., small kids can learn about caring for small animals by helping to feed the rabbits and collect chicken eggs at the Little Farm, which is right next to the center.
From 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Sunday it’s talk to the animals time, a chance to learn how various animals move, what they eat, and how they avoid predators. Pigs are the stars of the show on May 7.
Or you can meet a snake during a program at the center led by naturalist Anthony Fisher from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7. For more information on all of these activities, call 510-544-2233.
There’s also lots going on at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, too. Discovery Days is in session every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the visitor center, featuring hands-on nature exploration for the entire family. Drop by any time during the day.
Both new and experienced birders will enjoy a bird-watching walk led by naturalist Kristina Parkison. It’s from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6, for ages eight and older.
Parkison also plans a program from 1 to 3 p.m. the same day about bird boxes. You can learn the techniques for placing and monitoring those small houses for our feathered friends.
The bird box program also is for ages eight and older. It’s free, but registration is required. To register, call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 17091.
Or you can join an ethnobotany hike led by Francis Mendoza. It’s from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 7. This is a moderate, two-mile walk, during which Francis will show how native Californians traditionally managed the land through burning, pruning and cultivation. The program is for ages 12 and older.
Coyote Hills is located at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. For information, call 510-544-3220.
Family Nature Fun is from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in May and June at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, with a different natural history topic each weekend, and a nature craft after the program. “Colors, Colors, Everywhere!” is the theme on May 6 and 7.
After that it’s fish feeding time from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Crab Cove’s large aquarium, which contains a variety of fish from San Francisco Bay.
Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue. Call 510-544-3187.