Shorebirds are returning to the Bay Area for the winter, having spent the spring and summer nesting season as far north as the Arctic. Here Least Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope forage in the wetland habitat at ACR’s Toms Point Preserve. Tomales Bay is designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. Every winter, around 20,000 shorebirds use this critical habitat for foraging and shelter.

ACR is looking for experienced birders to help with our annual shorebird counts on Tomales Bay. If you can identify the local shorebirds and are interested in contributing to this 30-year long-term dataset, please contact GIS Specialist Emiko Condeso at or 415.663.8203, ext. 401.

Note: please be very careful and take every precaution to avoid disturbance when viewing or photographing. If a bird or other animal changes its behavior in response to your action, you are already too close and should back away immediately so the animal can go about its normal routine of eating and avoiding predators. These photos and videos were captured by experienced biologists who were already working in a pond when these birds landed and began foraging. Even so, the images were captured from some distance using zoom lenses.