Goose fly-off slated for Sunday

Wildlife refuge hosts annual ‘Sunrise at the Refuge’ event

Aleutian geese prepare to land to join other geese for an evening meal Monday evening. The Aleutian geese were part of a huge flock taking over a portion of a pasture located just south of State Route 255 between Arcata and Manila. (Jose Quezada/HUMEDIA LLC)

“Sunrise at the Refuge,” aka the Aleutian Cackling Goose Fly-Off, is slated for Sunday at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Loleta. The event takes place rain or shine. Those attending will meet at the Richard J. Guadagno Headquarters and Visitor Center, 1020 Ranch Road. The gate opens at 6:15 a.m.

There’ll be interpretive guides along the trail to view the habitats of southern Humboldt Bay at sunrise as everyone gathers to watch thousands of Aleutian cackling geese fly off their night-time roosts. Activities include bird silhouette painting at the Visitor Center and breakfast at the Hunt Cabin from 7 to 11 a.m. Bring a mug for coffee, tea or cocoa.

This year, to allow for more viewing of sunrise at the refuge, hours will expand and every Saturday and Sunday in the month of March, the entrance gate will open a half hour before sunrise. For more information or special accommodations, call 707-733-5406 or visit

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