bank swallows in tree

Bird Watching Opportunities Offered in Merced, Santa Barbara and Yolo Counties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering special bird watching opportunities through its Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Program. A total of 22 SHARE access permits will be awarded through a random drawing for 19 bird watching periods on properties in Merced, Santa Barbara and Yolo counties.

Successful applicants will receive a SHARE access permit valid for two to five people, depending on the property:

  • In northern California, interested birders will have an opportunity to access 4,000 acres of rolling blue oak woodlands on the Bobcat Ranch located in Yolo County’s Vaca Mountain foothills.
  • In the Central California, the City of Merced’s Wetlands offers 300 acres of seasonal habitat for migrating waterfowl, song birds and raptors. A eucalyptus grove on the property also supports great blue heron and great white egret rookeries.
  • In Southern California, Sleepy Creek Ranch is located in the West Cuyama Valley in Santa Barbara County. This property offers 700 acres of oak savannah, juniper sage woodland, chaparral and riparian habitats. Approximately 250 acres of Bureau of Land Management property and the Los Padres National Forest border the ranch, providing additional sighting opportunities.

For more information on these opportunities, bird lists and available dates, please visit the SHARE webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

A $10.50 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each period choice. To apply, please go to www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/online-sales.

These opportunities are made possible by the SHARE Program, which offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Participating landowners receive liability protection and compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of the SHARE Program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other recreational access on private lands in California.

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988