CHICO, Calif. -

The California drought is not drying up the large crowds expected to flock to the Northstate this week for the annual Snow Goose Festival.

Just because the Northstate is drier than normal, don't expect the birds to fly the coop.   

Jennifer Patten is the coordinator of the annual Snow Goose Festival, now in its 15th year.  For four days nature lovers converge in Chico to explore the six surrounding counties, appreciating the natural environment.  The main feature is the tens of thousands of waterfowl that migrate to the Northstate.

Usually the fields are flooded this time of year, allowing a welcoming habitat for the migrating birds.  This year there is very little water.  But Patten said that probably won't keep the birds away.

”All of California is dry,” said Patten.  “So historically, those that come here and spend the winter, they know their route, they know their stop.” 

If you travel about 20 miles southwest of Chico, through the small town of Dayton, you come to one viewing area.  There you will find thousands of migratory birds who flew in from Alaska. 

Janet and Danny Loh drove all the way from Northridge to appreciate the natural habitat.

”We just got away and found a place that's wide, wide open where there's a lot of birds,” said Danny Loh.
 
Rain or shine, the Snow Goose Festival continues to provide a winter haven for ducks, geese and swans and those who like to watch them. 

The field trips begin Thursday and run through Sunday.

To learn more about the Snow Goose Festival or to sign up for a field trip log onto www.snowgoosefestival.org