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“A close look at nature”

Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Merced
Attraction details
Chico, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A close look at nature”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

A relaxing slow driving tour to see 1000s of birds in migrating season (Fall Winter Spring ) Or a few birds and other wildlife out of season. The animals are used to people and slow cars so you can get very close. But you must not bother them. Get out and hike a bit too. Free telescopes on 2 piers with info. plates to read. Paper guides available at parking lot. Gate auto locks at dusk.

minus-no water to drink, bathroom is "rural"

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank danetta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Winter Birding!”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Merced and San Luis Wildlife Refuges are both wonderful for winter/migrating birds. Easy access and the interpretive center at San Luis is nicely done.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank DougMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merced, California
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Cold, but great views”
Reviewed December 19, 2013

appears to be nothing, but once you drive the loop the birds come alive. Great view points and pull over areas to take pictures.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Fiona_Imadog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merced, California
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Seasonal but SUPERB during the bird migrations”
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
Helpful?
Thank Photom299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merced, California
Level 6 Contributor
271 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
“Great way to spend a winter afternoon!”
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.

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