The San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, a unique wetland habitat in the heart of Irvine, provides a seasonal home for 327 species of birds. Some of them travel great distances to spend time here, arriving from their breeding grounds in northern Canada.
The sanctuary has been named by the International Society of Wetland Scientists as California’s only “Wetland of Distinction,” making it one of 32 in the U.S.
The 320-acre property has 12 miles of walking trails and is generally open to the public during daylight hours. There are also field trips, tours and educational activities provided by the Sea & Sage Audubon Society and Discovery Cube Orange County.
This major bird migration route extends from Alaska down through South America. Migratory birds travel along different sections of the flyway, back and forth between their summer breeding grounds and their winter havens. Most species’ breeding regions are in the northern U.S. and central Canada, but a few species, such as the snow goose, travel as far as the Arctic.