About the Refuge


Stretching inland from the Gulf beaches into the bottomland forests of the Brazos and San Bernard River basins, the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge provides a vital corridor of habitat for migrating and wintering birds.

Established to provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl and other bird species, the refuge serves as an end point for the ducks and geese migrating south along the Central Flyway for the winter. It also serves as an entry point for neotropical migratory songbirds headed north to their breeding grounds, exhausted from their 600-mile crossing of the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 320 species of birds call the refuge home for all or part of the year, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise. It is because of its significance to waterfowl and migrating birds that San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge and its companion refuges, Brazoria and Big Boggy, were designated an Internationally Significant Shorebird Site by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

While the refuge is managed for the benefit of wildlife, it is also here for you. The 54,000-acre San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge is a place for people to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Wildlife watching, photography, hunting, fishing, and environmental education programs are all available to the public.

San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1969.  It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters set aside for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.