Nature lovers migrate to the Yuba-Sutter each year to observe the many birds that inhabit the area. Because of the area’s strategic location along the Pacific Flyway, millions of migratory birds come through the area, making the area a paradise for birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts, and sportsmen. Ducks, geese, wild turkey, and other game birds are plentiful in the area.
Each November, the Swan Festival showcases the beautiful tundra swans that fly from their Arctic breeding grounds to overwinter in the rice fields and wetlands around Yuba and Sutter Counties. At Swan Central, festival attendees can enjoy lectures, visit the Kid’s Corner, purchase birding supplies from vendors, and schedule specialty hikes to various locations led by world-renowned bird experts. The Swan Festival caters to experienced birders who are passionate about birds with numerous events for beginners.
If you can’t make it in time for the Swan Festival, plan a trip to visit Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, seasonal home to over 200 species of birds including Snow Geese, Bald Eagles, Sandhill Cranes and other wildlife.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is the region’s premier waterfowl sanctuary with over 9,000 acres of managed land. Gray Lodge's diversity and location along the Pacific Flyway make it a haven for wildlife. Reflective ponds, grassy fields and wooded riparian areas provide food, water and shelter for more than 300 species of resident and migrant birds and mammals.
Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, the southern-most refuge in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, is located in the Sacramento Valley of California. The refuge consists of about 2,600 acres, consisting primarily of wetland impoundments with some riparian and grassland habitat. About 80 percent of the refuge is located in the Sutter Bypass, a floodwater bypass from the Sacramento River that floods at least once a year and may cover portions of the refuge with up to 12 feet of water. Sutter Refuge typically supports wintering populations of more than 175,000 ducks and 50,000 geese.
This is a 430 acre wildlife sanctuary owned by the National Audubon Society and managed by volunteers of the Sacramento Audubon Society. It was donated to National Audubon in 1975 by Bob & Elaine Crandall. Bobelaine is a rare remnant of the riparian forests that once projected two to five miles on either side of the rivers in the Great Central Valley of California.
Visitor Activities at Colusa NWR include: • Auto Tour • Observation Deck & Observation Walkway • Trail • Photography & Photo Blind (by reservation) • Hunting (in designated hunt area) The Visitor Center for the Complex is located at Sacramento NWR, just 30 minutes north of Colusa NWR, where you can find maps/brochures, exciting programs, guided tours, exhibits, and a bookstore. To enhance your visit, the Complex lends binoculars and field guides.