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  • Old growth forest

    Old Growth Forest

    One of the largest tracts of old growth forest in the South, the Dance Bayou tract has 300+ documented species of flowering plants.

    Learn More

  • ScarletTanager_AllenDale_218x116

    Crossing the Gulf

    Migratory birds exhausted from the 600-mile crossing of the Gulf of Mexico find food, shelter and fresh water in the refuge bottomlands.

  • Indian blanket flowers / Lavaty ©

    Get a closer look!

    Get up close and personal with some of the refuge's wild residents and the habitat they depend upon.

    View the Gallery

  • Snow geese

    Still Wild

    Clouds of snow geese in the winter or warbler “fallouts” in the spring convince refuge visitors they have stepped back in time.

  • Roseate spoonbill female with chicks

    Where Wildlife Comes First

    National Wildlife Refuges are managed for wildlife and habitat and to ensure future generations will always have wild places to explore!

    Visitor Activities


Companion Refuges

Kayaking on the refuges

San Bernard National Wildlife is part of the Texas Mid-coast Refuge Complex, which also includes Brazoria and Big Boggy Refuges. For more information on the three refuges, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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  • Sargent Permit Waterfowl Hunt Area Opens

    Blue-winged Teal

    The San Bernard NWR will be accepting applications for the Sargent Permit Hunt Area during the month of September. Waterfowl season opens on November 5, 2016.

    Waterfowl Hunting
  • On the Radar


    Sidney Gauthreaux, a Clemson University scientist, uses weather service radar scans to calculate spring migration. He calculates an astonishing 239 million birds pass through the Columbia Bottomlands each spring. Able to watch the migration on radar in real time, the birds all seem to leave the bottomlands in an ‘exodus’ event, which is about a half-hour to forty-five minutes after sunset on a southerly wind. The migratory birds lift off at nearly the same time in a wheel-shaped formation that might include as many as quarter of a million birds. Considered the founder of radar ornithology, Gauthreaux also estimates that neotropical songbird migration decreased by half from 1979 to 1995.

  • Did you know?

    Prothonotary warbler / USFWS

    The prothonotary warbler was actually named for a group of Catholic clerics who wore bright yellow? The brilliant yellow bird is one of many migratory birds that depend on the refuge’s bottomland hardwood forest.

Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Linville Bayou Unit, Roseate spoonbill female with chicks, Old growth forest, Scarlet Tanager / Allen Dale ©, Snow geese, Indian blanket flowers / Lavaty ©, Kayaking on the refuges, Chestnut-sided / Scott Buckel ©, Prothonotary warbler / USFWS, Live oak on Hudson Woods / USFWS
Last Updated: Jul 07, 2015
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