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February 3, 2010 > Birding the refuge

Birding the refuge

By Suzanne Ortt
Photos By courtesy of Pelican Media

Come to the refuge, specifically the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center in Alviso. Saturday, February 13 is the date for a special program, 'Birding the Refuge.' Participants can practice their birding skills at varied habitats around the Education Center. Beginners and intermediate birders are welcome. Gather near the building entrance. Jennifer Heroux, Park Ranger, states, "Birding is a great way to get to know the National Wildlife Refuge. Tens of thousands of birds come to spend the winter here, and our birding programs hope to unlock for you the mystery of this natural spectacle."

This center, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, primarily serves youth on school field trips throughout the week. The public can visit during weekends from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

This time of year many species of waterfowl populate the area and seashore birds are starting to arrive. 'Birding' involves watching and identifying birds. The refuge has binoculars and field guides available but many birders bring their own equipment.

Highlights of the area include a butterfly garden near the center, a 1200-foot long boardwalk through the New Chicago Marsh, and the nearby reed-lined Mallard Slough. Drawbridge, the remains of a real ghost town, is three miles north of Alviso. This community of 400 eventually was abandoned. Public viewing is available only through docent-guided tours. Call (510) 792-0222 for information about tours.

A beginning birding clinic is scheduled for Saturday, March 6 at the refuge.

Birding the Refuge
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, February 13
Environmental Education Center
1751 Grand Boulevard, Alviso
(408) 262-5513 x 106

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