HomeContact UsSite Map
Our Chapter Membership Conservation Field Trips Education Bird Information Special Events


Education Program overview

Birding Classes

Outdoor Adventures Program

Teacher Resources

Nature Discovery Kits

Audubon Naturalist Program

Junior Naturalist Program

Nature Day Camps

Group Tours

Seasons of Nature

Bat Walks


Group Tours

at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine
suitable for scouts, home schoolers, & adult community groups


Wildlife Viewing
photo by Trude Hurd
Please read (or print out and read) our Community Group Tours Brochure for important information about the tours before you contact Jay to schedule your tour.
To Schedule Your Tour:
Tours are arranged a minimum of one month in advance. We must receive full payment by check with your Enrollment Form at least 1 month before your tour! Schedule your tour with Jay Miller. Print and complete the Group Tour Release Form.
Jay Miller
Community Group Tour Coordinator

About Our Group Tour Program:
During the one-hour tour, an Audubon Naturalist will lead your group during a close-up look and discussion about mounted bird displays in the Learning Center and then take your on a nature walk on trails around the freshwater ponds. The Audubon Naturalist will introduce your group to the wetland ecosystem and its importance, explain bird migration and adaptations, show you how to use "field marks" and behaviors to identify common birds, and discuss how you can protect wildlife and wetlands.
Age Limits and Sizes:
We no longer have a minimum age limit. All children and adults attending will pay the program fee. Maximum number is 24 people (combined adults and children.) Minimum 1 adult for every 5 children.
Program Fee:
The program fee include a one-hour guided tour of the trails and a presentation inside the Learning Center, plus use of our binoculars (one per individual) and a copy of our 28-page illustrated field guide Birds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for each person to keep.
Community Group Tour participation qualifies you for the Orange County Wild "Wildland Lover" patch. Print your passport from www.ocwild.com and bring it to your tour to be signed!
CURRENT FEE SCHEDULE: (effective Sept. 2015)
$3 per person (excluding babies and toddlers).
$30 Minimum; payment pre-paid.
What To Bring & Facilities:
We suggest comfortable walking shoes; the trails are gravel. Jackets are needed in cooler months; a hat and sunscreen in warmer months. We have restrooms, a drinking fountain, and handicapped access to the buildings. The Audubon House gift shop sells patches, bird guides, T-shirts and other nature-related items.
Wildlife You Might See:
Great wildlife viewing opportunities are possible during your tour: Depending on the season, you might see 12-20 bird species during your one-hour tour. Ducks and shorebirds feed in the shallow ponds while egrets stalk the edges. In spring, songbirds defend breeding territories, and you might see nestinig birds with chicks. Rabbits, lizards, butterflies, and dragonflies are common, so keep your eyes and ears open!
How to Act in a Wildlife Sanctuary:
Because Sea & Sage Audubon Society and the Irvine Ranch Water District care about wetland habitat and wildlife, everything at the San Joaquin Wildlife is protected. All visitors are expected to protect the wildlife during their visit. Parents and other adults are responsible for ensuring that all children obey the rules at all times.
If you are bringing children, please review our two Program Rules with them before you visit to the sanctuary.
Rule #1:Protect wildlife at all times.
* Use a quiet voice at all times.
* Stay on the trails. Walk, do not run.
* Do not pick up or throw rocks.
* Do not pick any plants. (Stinging nettle does sting!)
* Do not harm any insects.
* Use your binoculars instead of your feet to get close to wildlife.
Rule #2: Listen to and obey your Tour Leader.

* Stay behind the Tour Leader.

* Raise your hand to speak.
* Follow instructions about how to use binoculars and other materials.
We reserve the right to dismiss any group
that is disruptive or disobeying the wildlife sanctuary rules.

How to Get to the Site:

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is a 300-acre freshwater wetlands at the Irvine Ranch Water District. It is located at 3512 Michelson Drive between Jamboree and Harvard in the city of Irvine. Due to construction, the current entrance is off Campus near University Drive.

From the 405 freeway, exit Jamboree and go SOUTH. Turn LEFT on Michelson. Turn RIGHT on Harvard, fifth signal. Turn RIGHT on University, first signal. Turn RIGHT on Campus, first signal. Cross over creek and make IMMEDIATE RIGHT onto paved entrance road (green sign). Continue on road and turn LEFT into parking area.

Hours: Sanctuary trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. Audubon House nature center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
page updated 11/9/15

Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447 • Irvine, CA 92616 • 949-261-7963