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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 and adult community groups)

About Our Group Tour Program:
During the one-hour tour, an Audubon naturalist will lead your group from (1) an up-close look at the mounted bird displays inside Audubon House to (2) a walk along the trails around the fresh water ponds. The Audubon naturalist will introduce your group to the wetland ecosystem and its importance, show you how to use "field marks" and behaviors to identify common birds, explore bird migration, and discuss how to protect birds and wetlands.
To Schedule Your Tour:
We schedule tours a minimum of one month in advance. If interested, contact our Community Tour Coordinator, Jay Miller, at 949-707-1287 or by e-mail at to arrange a date and to receive an Enrollment Form. You must mail your check with the Enrollment Form at least one month before your tour date!
Group Age & Size Requirements:
We accept a minimum of 8 up to a maximum of 16 scouts or school children ages 7 and up. For other community groups, we accept a minimum of 10 individuals.
Program Fee Details:
The program fee includes a one-hour tour of the trails and Audubon House, use of our binoculars (one per individual), and a copy of our 28-pager illustrated field guide Birds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for each individual to keep.
Current fee schedule (effective 6/04)
* Children's Tours are $45 for 8-16 participants
* Community Group Tours are $50 for 10 individuals, with an extra charge of $5 for each additional person.
What To Bring & Facilities:
Remember to bring your completed release forms; they are REQUIRED for every person participating in a Group Tour. 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 Can Expect to See:
Many wildlife viewing opportunities are possible during your tour. The SJWS bird checklist includes 263 species, and depending on the season, you might see 12-23 species during your one-hour tour. Ducks and shorebirds feed in the deep and shallow ponds while egrets and herons stalk for prey along the edges. In spring, songbirds sing to establish and defend breeding territories, and you might see nesting birds with chicks. Rabbits, lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, an d evidence of coyotes can be seen on the trails. 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 if protected. All visitors are expected to protect the wildlife during their visit. Parents are adults are responsible for ensuring 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 disobeyed the wildlife 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 5 Riparian View; the entrance is from Campus Drive. Directions: From the San Diego Fwy (405), exit on Jamboree south toward Newport Beach. At the 1st signal which is Michelson, turn left. Continue on Michelson to the 5th signal which is Harvard and turn right. Drive to University and turn right. Drive to Campus Dr. and turn right. Stay in the far right land and immediately turn right onto Riparian View which will enter the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. The entrance road is marked by a green sign. If you miss the turn and reach Carlson, turn right and go around the block again to Harvard. The sanctuary is open every day from dawn until dusk.
Hours: Sanctuary trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. Audubon House is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. .

Tour participants qualify for Orange County Wild "Wildland Lover" patch.
Bring your passport to be signed!

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