According to WildCare, it’s a quiet time of year in its Wildlife Hospital but they’ve put together a list of suggestions to get outside and see some spectacular Bay Area wildlife:
- Head toward Half Moon Bay and stop at Año Nuevo State Park for a chance to see one of the world’s largest colonies of elephant seals as they spar and compete for dominance in preparation for breeding season.
- Detour to Devil’s Slide or Pigeon Point and bring your binoculars. Gray whales are heading south along the coast toward the sheltered, warm waters of the Gulf of California, where they will stay until they are ready to birth next year’s offspring.
- Wintering shorebirds are drawn to the Bay Area’s temperate climate and abundant waterways. Circumnavigate a marsh or stroll along a shoreline while keeping your eye out for ostentatiously plumed ducks, long-legged stilts and willets, loons, plovers, terns and albatross.
- Hike Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands in search of migratory raptors riding thermals down the coast and you might have a chance to see a golden eagle, a Peregrine falcon or a Swainson’s hawk.
- Sparse winter foliage makes it easier to spot migratory songbirds as they make their way down the Pacific Flyway. Townsend’s Warblers and Hermit Thrushes are some of WildCare’s favorite part-time residents.
For more information, visit discoverwildcare.org.