Areas of Interest
Wildlife ObservationWildlife Observation - Facilities - Waterfowl Surveys - Interesting Sightings - Wildlife Checklist
NEW Have you seen a Sacramento Valley Red Fox? Red foxes in the Sacramento Valley were thought to be non-native until genetic testing in 2005 by UC Davis revealed that these foxes were native and potentially in decline. In 2007, a website was set up for the public to report sightings of Sacramento Valley red foxes. Now, Master's Student Amy Brasch of Victoria University of Wellington is assessing: (1) how effective public input was on locating the foxes and (2) how the website can be improved for future conservation efforts. You are invited to share your opinions regarding red foxes and the fox sighting website in a brief 5-minute survey located on the fox sighting website: http://foxsurvey.ucdavis.edu/
More than 300 species of birds and mammals, both resident and migratory, use the refuges. The marshes support fish, frogs, and invertebrates, which are used by grebes, white pelicans, egrets, herons, and bitterns as a food resource. Shorebirds probe the mud for insects, snails, and worms, while raptors prey on the abundant waterfowl, rodents, and small birds. Woodpeckers, marsh wrens, and finches are a few of the many songbirds which feed and nest in the refuges' cottonwoods, willows, and wetland plants.
Approximately 44 percent of the Pacific Flyway's waterfowl (pdf, 1.3 MB) population winters in the Sacramento Valley. Three million ducks and three-quarters of a million geese migrate here.
The western pond turtle, common king snake and western fence lizard can sometimes be seen sunning themselves on logs and rocks by waterways and ponds. Coyotes, black-tailed deer, and jackrabbits inhabit the uplands and the margins of wetlands.
Join a refuge naturalist and participate in bird tours, photo tours, and kids activities. Click here for events.
Seasonal Viewing Opportunities
Fall (Sept.-Nov.): Pintails are the first duck to arrive and signal the beginning of winter migration. White-fronted geese and snow geese follow.
Winter (Dec.-Feb.): Duck and geese numbers peak. Snow and Ross's geese, mallard, wigeon, teal, bufflehead, ruddy duck, northern shoveler and ring-necked ducks enjoy the flooded marsh.
Spring (March-May): As ducks and geese leave for their breeding grounds, shorebirds arrive. Sandpipers, dowitchers, dunlin, avocets, black-necked stilts and others probe the mudflats for food.
Summer (June-Aug.): Herons, egrets, grebes, and some ducks remain to nest. Orioles, swallows, and flycatchers arrive. Resident deer, blackbirds, jackrabbits, otter and muskrat can be observed.
Sacramento NWR Complex
752 County Road 99W, Willows, CA 95988
Phone: (530) 934-2801; Fax: (530) 934-7814
24-hour Information: (530) 934-7774
TTY: (530) 934-7135
November 23, 2012