Wildlife Watching Tips

Desert mule deer buck/L. Brasher

San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge has an abundance of wildlife!


  • Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife.
  • In warmer seasons, little is moving on hot summer afternoons or on windy days.
  • Observe from the sidelines.  Leave “abandoned” young animals alone. A parent is probably close by waiting for you to leave.
  • Don’t offer snacks; your lunch could disrupt wild digestive systems.
  • For a closer look, borrow binoculars from the refuge headquarter's building and ask how best to use them.
  • Try sitting quietly in one good location. Let wildlife get used to your presence. Many animals that have hidden will reappear once they think you are gone.
  • Walk quietly in designated areas, being aware of sounds and smells. Often you will hear more than you will see.
  • Teach children quiet observation.  Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration.
  • Look for animal signs. Tracks, scat, feathers, and nests left behind often tell interesting stories.