In spite of its urbanized location, Richardson Bay is one of the most pristine estuaries in the Pacific Coast. Nine hundred acres of open water are protected by Richardson Bay under the management of the National Audubon Society. Richardson Bay is an important feeding and resting area for over one million wintering and migratory birds each year. It has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA), due to its large number of bird visitors and residents.

My family and I visited Richardson Bay this past weekend and with warm weather it was an excellent opportunity for a hike and birding in the bay. While at Richardson Bay Audubon Sanctuary we saw many birds including Greater Yellowlegs, Western Grebes, Buffleheads, White-tailed Kites, Brown Pelicans, Cedar Waxings and American Robins. We discussed the importance of mudflat habitats for migratory birds and the importance of native plants like Sticky Monkey Flower and Toyon for resident birds. I continue to enjoy seeing my sisters very interested in nature and in identifying the birds we see. I have really enjoyed these birding outings with my family because although I have lived in the Bay Area throughout my childhood, I had not visited many of these incredible natural protected areas before. My interest for the outdoors and conservation have led me to explore more natural protected spaces in the Bay Area.

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