California Travel Tips

Great Egret Nesting Site Opens to Public for Summer in Stinson Beach, CA

Published on: March 28, 2012

Have you ever watched the mating rituals of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons? These are nature’s large and graceful birds on the California Coast that return each year to an exceptional place they like to call home — Martin Griffin Preserve. Named for the man who fought to save land slated for a marina and intensive building construction, the nesting grounds of these birds is considered one of the most significant along the West Coast. So bird-friendly is the place that it’s only open to humans a few months out of the year from mid-March to mid-July.

Visitors can see the glorious birds and follow the hatching of young chicks, listen to their constant demands to be fed, and see their first flights. It’s the perfect time to let your very own spirit soar. Other birds such as swallows (shown in middle photo above), butterflies, and small animals are often seen as you wander the miles of trails near the beach. Viewing platforms feature magnifying scopes to watch the birds up close. Special events this year include Mothers Day BBQ ( on May 13,¬† and Art of Eating ( food & wine event at Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen on June 3, 2012.

Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Martin Griffin Preserve

  • Hours: Open through¬† July 15, 2012 on Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Location: Martin Griffin Preserve, 4900 Shoreline Highway 1, Stinson Beach, CA
  • Cost: Free, donations welcome
  • (415) 868-9244
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