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

8 miles south of Merced, Calif., on State Hwy 59,
then 8 miles west on Sandy Mush Road.
Merced County, CA   
E-mail: tara_wertz@fws.gov@fws.gov
Phone Number: 209-826-3508
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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  Wildlife Observation and Photography
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Waterfowl populations peak from October through March. December is the best month to view ducks (especially mallards and green-winged teal), while geese are most numerous in January. Merced Refuge hosts thousands of geese, including Ross', snow, white-fronted, and cackling Canada geece. It is also a good choice for those interested in seeing sandhill cranes and shorebirds.

The wonders of spring are at a peak in March, which may be the best time for general sightseeing. Spring and fall migrations witness many species of shorebirds. Greater and lesser yellowlegs, long-billed dowitchers, black-bellied plovers, plus a variety of sandpipers stop to feed on the wetlands' protein-rich invertebrates and crustaceans.

Summer residents on the refuge include mallards, gadwall, and cinnamon teal. American avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, and tricolored blackbirds normally nest here. Many songbirds, hawks, and owls also use the riparian habitat.

Mammals include the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, striped skunk, cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, coyote, and California ground squirrel.

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