The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex provides nearly 70,000 acres of wetland, grassland, and riparian habitats for a wide array of waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, waterbirds, songbirds, reptiles, and mammals. The Complex currently supports nearly 300 species of birds.
The refuges of the Sacramento Complex are best known for the large number of waterfowl, but also host shorebirds, waterbirds, raptors, songbirds, reptiles, and mammals.
Refuges are important to wildlife because they provide unique habitats including wetlands, vernal pools, alkali meadows, grasslands, and riparian forests.
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Often small groups of northern shovelers bring food to the surface by swimming rapidly in a circle while swinging their bills side to side. They strain aquatic vegetation, plankton, and tiny invertebrates through the comblike edges of their shovel-shaped bill.