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Wheels and Wildlife June Tour a Hit

It was a hot day...even by the edge of the Bay. But over 30 hardy riders came out to cool off along the levees of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge in San Jose for a rewarding bike ride. We saw lots of large white pelicans hanging out on the small islands. Also, we saw the snowy egret, great egret, and great blue heron, all within 30 minutes!

white pelicans
White pelicans cover the small islands of one of the ponds in the south Bay. Photo by Deb Kramer

The cool breezes along the levees allowed us to enjoy the three stops where we had presenters who shared details about migratory birds, the evolution of salt pond restoration and how it helps birds and other local wildlife, and sea level rise, the protection options, and its impact on the dilapidated town of Drawbridge.

As Gabbie Burns from the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory put it, "I had a great time at the event, I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged people were!"

people on levee
First stop was about migratory birds and the role the Refuge plays for them.

At the migratory bird stop, the presenters set up scopes to highlight primarily Forster's terns, American White Pelicans, and the Caspian tern breeding colony. The Forster's terns were a species that has on one of the pond islands "decoys and other social attraction project elements are geared toward," said Gabbie Burns.

Most people, including many families, had never been to the Refuge; so they welcomed the opportunity to see it and learn about the area through their general questions about the ponds, the wildlife, and threats. We’ll have another event in August, so if you missed it, you’ll be able to see it again or for the first time with us, and we’ll have different topics. RSVP here.

This event was a team effort by Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Interns and staff did a terrific job sharing their knowledge and first hand experiences with bird observations and sea level rise impacts. These organizations are always happy to have volunteers. To participate in future events or volunteer, visit each organization’s website.

Thanks to the Coastal Commission's Whale Tail grant for funding the project.


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