Fed by snowmelt from the Warner Mountains, the Pit River creates an oasis for wildlife in the high desert of northeastern California — Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. The 7,000 + acre refuge was established in 1961 to manage and protect migratory waterfowl. Funds available from the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act helped purchase this refuge, which is located just south of Alturas, California.
PLACE FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS AND WILDLIFE
One in a chain of National wildlife refuges along the Pacific Flyway extending from Alaska to Mexico, Modoc National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is an important resting and feeding area for migratory birds. Migratory bird production and maintenance is the primary purpose of the refuge.
Laying at an elevation of 4,365 feet, the refuge is situated near the confluence of the north and south forks of the Pit River. Modoc NWR lies just beyond the western edge of the Great Basin, with the Warner Mountain range on the east and the Adin Mountain range on the west. Several habitat types are represented: freshwater lakes and ponds, farmland and irrigated meadows, sagebrush upland and riparian corridors. In addition to the migratory bird populations, these diverse habitats support a wide range of other wildlife.
The best opportunity to observe a great diversity of bird life is from April through May and September through October. The best viewing is during morning or evening hours. Binoculars or a spotting scope can help you observe wildlife from a distance and minimize disturbance. Your car can be a good vantage point and act as a wildlife blind. If on foot, remember wildlife is wary of humans and easily disturbed. A wildlife field guide will help you learn in which habitat to look for specific species.
For additional information please contact the Refuge:
Modoc National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 1610
Alturas, CA 96101
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