Seasons of Wildlife

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Spring, Summer Winter and Fall--every season on the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge hums with abundant wildlife and thriving habitats.  One of the best places to see wildlife is the Lower Tubbs Island Trail.

  • Spring

    Black-necked Stilt

    By May, most of the migrants have moved north to nest, while residents and visitors from the south nest on the refuge.  Resident nesting species include mallards, gadwalls, and black-necked stilts.  Those birds that migrate from the south to the refuge to breed are Caspian terns and barn swallows.

  • Summer

    Song Sparrow

    In the summer, the young of breeding birds become easier to spot as they feed in the marshes.  A variety of resident gulls, herons, egrets and perching birds can be seen year-round.  Non-breeding white pelicans are commonly observed during the summer and stay into the fall.

  • Fall

    Surf Scoter

    Starting in September, waterbirds begin to arrive from their northern breeding grounds.  From November through January, peak numbers of diving ducks and shorebirds, including canvasback, scaup, scoter, bufflehead, ruddy duck, goldeneyes, sandpipers, plovers, dowitchers, willets, godwits and curlews can be seen using the bay's wetlands.

  • Winter

    Red-tailed Hawk

    Winter is a great time to see raptors, such as red-tailed hawks, white-tailed kites, northern harriers and American kestrels.  These birds could be spotted hunting over the refuge's marshes and on adjacent agricultural fields.  A sharp observer may spot a peregrine falcon pursuing a shorebird on the edge of the bay.