Grizzly Island and Suisun Marsh

Fairfield, California

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Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Peytonia Slough Ecological Reserve, and Hill Slough Wildlife Area add up to about 14,000 acres, but they constitute only a fraction of the vast wetlands in the area, collectively called Suisun Marsh. The Suisun Marsh, at 84,000 acres, is the largest estuarine marsh in the U.S. In 1998, it was declared to be a Globally Important Bird Area because it “provides habitat for globally significant numbers of wintering Northern Pintails, continentally significant numbers of wintering California Clapper Rails, and nationally significant numbers of American Wigeons and Northern Shovelers, in addition to migrating shorebirds.” It has been estimated that 250,000 ducks are present in winter. In addition to the birds, there is a resident herd of tule elk. River otters are sometimes visible in the ditches and sloughs. Specialty birds: Resident—White-tailed Kite; Golden Eagle; Black and Clapper Rails; Short-eared Owl; Western Meadowlark; Lesser Goldfinch. Summer—Cinnamon Teal; Allen’s Hummingbird. Winter—Prairie and Peregrine Falcons; Long-billed Curlew; Tricolored Blackbird. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information.

Grizzly Island and Suisun Marsh Professional Review and Guide

"Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Peytonia Slough Ecological Reserve, and Hill Slough Wildlife Area add up to about 14,000 acres, but they constitute only a fraction of the vast wetlands in the area, collectively called Suisun Marsh. The Suisun Marsh, at 84,000 acres, is the largest estuarine marsh in the U.S. In 1998, it was declared to be a Globally Important Bird Area because it “provides habitat for globally significant numbers of wintering Northern Pintails, continentally significant numbers of wintering California Clapper Rails, and nationally significant numbers of American Wigeons and Northern Shovelers, in addition to migrating shorebirds.” It has been estimated that 250,000 ducks are present in winter. In addition to the birds, there is a resident herd of tule elk. River otters are sometimes visible in the ditches and sloughs. Specialty birds: Resident—White-tailed Kite; Golden Eagle; Black and Clapper Rails; Short-eared Owl; Western Meadowlark; Lesser Goldfinch. Summer—Cinnamon Teal; Allen’s Hummingbird. Winter—Prairie and Peregrine Falcons; Long-billed Curlew; Tricolored Blackbird. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Fairfield
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best November to March for most waterfowl; April to July for breeding birds.
Local Contacts: Grizzly Island Wildlife Complex;
Local Maps: DeLorme Northern California Atlas & Gazetteer.
Driving Directions: Directions to Grizzly Island and Suisun Marsh

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May 2018