Don Edwards Refuge at Twilight
The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is part of a complex that includes six other wildlife refuges in the San Francisco Bay Area. The others are: Antioch Dunes, Ellicott Slough, Farallon, Marin Islands, Salinas River and San Pablo Bay. It was renamed Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 1995 in recognition of Congressman Don Edwards' efforts to protect sensitive wetlands in south San Francisco Bay.
Wintering waterfowl make extensive use of the area, averaging 45,000-75,000 each winter. More than 500,000 shorebirds make use of the mud flats and salt ponds. At least 8 species of shorebirds visit this refuge during migration.
The Don Edwards San Francisco National Wildlife Refuge is the largest urban Refuge in the country; surrounded by major freeways, yet it remains a peaceful island in an urban sea.
It protects 60 percent of the world's population of California clapper rail, as well as a substantial number of endangered salt marsh harvest mouse both found only in the remaining tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay.
The refuge provides habitat for nine species threatened or endangered species and is home to 227 species of birds including 8% of the world population of the western snowy plover.
March through May is the best time to see spectacular wildflower displays, and
to view the millions of birds that stop at the Refuge during their northerly migration.
Winter at the Refuge is a prime time to view both waterfowl and shorebirds along the Bay, sloughs and marshes.