Fifty nature organizations, artists, and leading binocular and spotting scope companies will converge in Sonoma for the sixth annual Wine Country Nature and Optics Festival on Saturday, Sept. 9. The free family-friendly event will be held on the Casa Grande Plaza, at 20 E. Spain St. at the Sonoma Barracks.

“High technology is significantly changing the outdoor experience,” said Tom Rusert from Sonoma Birding. “When it comes to binoculars, one size does not fit all.”

This is the one time each year that all of the optics manufacturers come to Northern California, noted Rusert. Twelve companies will be on hand to demonstrate and sell the latest binoculars and telescope technology, including Swarovski Optik, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon, Kowa, Manfrotto and Opticron.

Representatives from Hawke Sport Optics will be here for the first time, and specialists from Out of this World Optics, a leading California retailer since 1988, will be on hand.

Northern California nature organizations featuring flora, fauna, fins, feathers and flippers will be showcased offering opportunities to learn about conservation and environmental issues. Education organization with live raptors and bats will be on hand to answer questions.

Students from Sonoma State University and University of California Berkeley biology outreach programs will have conservation exhibitions. Mobile displays from CAL Fire, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, and Sonoma County Regional Parks will be set up on the plaza as well.

National Geographic photographer Suzie Eszterhaus, noted for her work documenting newborn animals and family life in the wild, will be featured along with other photographers, artists on the easel, woodcarvers and plant experts. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Optics Fair is sponsored by Sonoma Nature and California State Parks. More information at www.sonomanature.org or phone Tom Rusert at 415-302-5601.