Gearing up for spring migration at Richardson Bay

March 29th, 2012 · by Garrison Frost

Not a lot of people know that the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary is the only privately-owned marine sanctuary in San Francisco Bay. What we’re getting at with this is that 900 acres of our sanctuary is under water, and so we take pride in maintaining this special habitat for a wide array of waterbirds. We asked Kerry Wilcox, the Center’s sanctuary manager, what they were seeing in terms of spring migration. He said that the Caspian Terns have started to arrive from their southern wintering grounds, and that many of the waterbirds are preparing to leave. Buffleheads are gone, but a lot of other ducks and grebes are still on the bay. Wilcox notes that by mid-April, 99 percent of the waterbirds will be off. To that end, he said, a lot of birds are preparing to head out. According to Wilcox, a lot of birds are doing their spring thing. Western and Clark’s Grebes are starting to do bits of their courtship dance on the Bay, and loons are changing to breeding plumage. Horned and Eared Grebes are changing to breeding plumage, as are Black-bellied Plovers are changing to breeding plumage. Double-crested Cormorants are getting their crests. (photo of birds on Richardson Bay by Bob Hinz)

Categories: Pacific Flyway · Pacific Migration · Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary · S.F. Bay · spring migration

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