U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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San Pablo Bay
National Wildlife Refuge

7715 Lakeville Highway
Petaluma, CA   94954
E-mail: don_brubaker@fws.gov
Phone Number: 707-769-4200
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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  Wildlife Observation and Photography
Continued . . .

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.

Raptors, such as red-tailed hawks, white-tailed kites, northern harriers, and American kestrels, are abundant from November through January. They can be seen 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.

By May, most of these migrants move north to nest, while residents and visitors from the south nest on the refuge. Nesting species on the refuge include black-necked stilt, mallard, and gadwall. Migrant nesters from the south include Caspian terns and barn swallows. A variety of resident gulls, herons, egrets, and perching birds can be seen year-round nesting on or adjacent to the refuge. Non-breeding white pelicans are commonly observed during summer and stay into the fall. Established trails at the Tolay Creek and Cullinan Ranch units provide the best wildlife observation and photography opportunities during these seasons.

Restrooms and drinking water are available at the refuge office during regular office hours. No restrooms, picnic areas, campgrounds, drinking water, or other facilities are available at the Tolay Creek or Cullinan Ranch Units.

Due to the sensitive nature of the wildlife living on the refuge, and for protection of endangered species, pets are not allowed.

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