Seasons of Wildlife

Wildlife year round 

Featured Species

Located along the Pacific Flyway, the Refuge hosts over 280 species of birds each year. The variety of birds that may call the refuge home or as a stopover consist of the white pelicans, kites, hawks, ospreys, and eagles. Millions of shorebirds and waterfowl stop to refuel at the Refuge during the spring and fall migration. In addition to its seasonal visitors, the Refuge provides critical habitat to resident species like the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh salt marsh
Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

Learn more about salt marsh
harvest mouse. Today, hundreds of thousands of people visit the Refuge each year to enjoy its diverse wildlife and habitats.

Please note, all of the animals that live on the refuge are wild. Never approach or attempt to feed any wildlife.

A small brown bird by the water

The California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) is one of the largest rails (family Rallidae), measuring 13-19 inches from bill to tail. It is characterized by its hen-like appearance, a long, slightly downward-curving bill, olive-brown upper parts, a cinnamon-buff colored breast,...

FWS Focus
A face-shot of California tiger salamander on top of green groundcover

California tiger salamander is a large, stocky, terrestrial salamander with a broad, rounded snout. Adults males are about 8 inches long, females a little less than 7 inches. Coloration consists of a black back and sides with white or pale yellow spots or bars. The belly varies from almost...

FWS Focus
Western snowy plover

The western snowy plover is a small shorebird with moderately long legs and a short neck. Their back is pale tan while their underparts are white, and have dark patches on the sides of their neck which reach around onto the top of their chest. Juveniles are similar to nonbreeding adults, but...

FWS Focus