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“Seasonal but SUPERB during the bird migrations” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Merced National Wildlife Refuge

Merced National Wildlife Refuge
7376 S. Wolfsen Road, On State Hwy 59, then 8 miles west on Sandy Mush Road, Merced, CA 93635
209/826-3508
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Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Merced
Attraction details
Merced, California
Level Contributor
132 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Seasonal but SUPERB during the bird migrations”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

Go in the winter for optimum sightings. Thousands of Ross Geese, Snow Geese, and Sandhill Cranes. Open from sunrise to sunset only. You have to stay in your vehicle except for one area along the route.

Visited December 2013
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Thank Photom299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Merced, California
Level Contributor
228 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Great way to spend a winter afternoon!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

Other reviewers, who seem to be quite knowledgeable about birds, already posted what types of birds you may expect to find here. You can drive the 5 mile loop very slowly and stop at various look-outs and platforms. You can also take walks here. The refuge looks like a huge lake. You never quite know what you'll find here. Thousands of birds make their home at this refuge during the winter months. I always find it so impressive when a large flock takes off with this loud "whoosh" sound. Bring binoculars and your camera. I usually visit this refuge at least twice a year.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Cali4niahiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merced, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“peaceful- birds and water”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

You can go in the summer but most of the water and bird will be gone, however there are millions of rabbits around ha ha. You drive thru at a very low speed and stop at look out points. I did have the gate locked on me one day, when it was supposed to be open and I had to hike in.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank danetta c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merced, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“EXcellent winter cativity”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Best in Winter when birds from the north are over wintering here. Many do not require binoculars to view! Early morning of evening before sunset a good time to be there. Mid day you can see some but not nearly as impressive as when htey are takign off for the day or coming in after a day our in the fireld.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank ELMason23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merced, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Water Fowl and More”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I have been driving to the NWR for nearly twenty years now. I'm a photographer and love to go there for wildlife photographs. The best time to visit this 5 mile drive is from October through April. This is the winter feeding grounds for the Sand Hill Cranes, the Ross's and Snow geese and many, many other species. Some years there will be an abundance of Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Blue Herons, Egrets, both Snowy and Great together with some Cattle Egrets in the fields. I've seen so many species and photographed many of them, I couldn't list them all here. Many varieties of ducks and other water fowl. It's an amazing place to visit. Don't go there in the summertime...far too many mosquitos and they'll fly into your car windows and you'll take them home with you...YIKES! I highly recommend driving around several times, as you'll see difference things each time. I spotted my first Burrowing Owl there and there are a resident pair of Great Horned Owl. So much to see...keep your eyes open for lots of species of animals, as well. Love this place. It's only twenty minutes from downtown Merced, so go see nature at its best.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Judi Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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