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

4009 Hill Rd
Tulelake, CA   96134 - 9758
E-mail: r8kbwebmaster@fws.gov
Phone Number: 530-667-2231
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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  Wildlife Observation and Photography
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This route takes the visitor along 10 miles of dike, along croplands, and through dry uplands. This variety of habitats ensures a diversity of wildlife sightings. Staying in your vehicle will increase your observation opportunities and reduce disturbance to wildlife.

A very steep 0.3-mile foot trail near the visitor center provides a spectacular view of the surrounding area from 150 feet above the Basin.

Photographers delight in the great up-close opportunities for a wide variety of waterfowl, wading birds, and bald eagles. The refuge has a limited number of photographic blinds set up in productive areas. These blinds can be checked out in advance and require a $5 user fee. Contact refuge headquarters for more information.

The best viewing time to observe wildlife is early morning and evening. March through May the spring migration brings great numbers of birds through the refuge. White pelicans return and can often be seen cooperatively feeding in large groups. Ducklings begin to appear in early May.

Large numbers of young can be seen from June through August. Look carefully to observe young grebes riding upon their parents' backs. Most water birds such as snowy and great egret, grebes, cormorants, and pelicans have left the area by late October.

The fall migration begins in early September with the arrival of northern pintails and white-fronted geese. Peak numbers of 1 million ducks, geese, and swans are usually present by early November with other major species including mallard, wigeon, green-winged teal, snow, Ross', and Canada geese, sandhill cranes, and tundra swan.

From December through February, Tule Lake and nearby Lower Klamath Refuge host the largest concentration of bald eagles in the contiguous United States. Some years more than 1,000 of these majestic birds are present on the two refuges. During these months, be also on the lookout for other raptor species, including golden eagle, northern harrier, rough-legged and red-tailed hawks. Waterfowl numbers begin to increase dramatically again in February with the arrival of the first northbound migrants.

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