Alameda Point's landscape diversity and central location in the San Francisco Bay estuary make it an inviting area for wildlife, especially birds. Many of the birds that visit Alameda Point are migrating, such as the Western Sandpiper and Black-bellied Plover, and can only be spotted in the winter before they return to summer breeding areas like northern Alaska. Other birds, such as the California Brown Pelican, can only be seen in abundance during the warm months. The endangered California Least Tern can only be seen from April to mid-August while breeding on the Nature Reserve. And for the last four years, a pair of ospreys has been nesting at Alameda Point from April to late July, this year - 2013 - on one of the maritime ships.
A small colony of Great Blue Herons has found Alameda Point to their liking year-round, and often set up nests on the rocky shoreline as well as in cypress trees on the Nature Reserve. The undisturbed wetlands on the Nature Reserve provide habitat for shorebirds, while the mature evergreen and deciduous trees throughout Alameda Point are good places to spot everything from songbirds to raptors to butterflies. Perhaps Alameda Point's most unique wildlife habitat is Breakwater Island - an offshore rock wall on the south side - which is the largest night roosting site for brown pelicans on San Francisco Bay. Sea Lions can be spotted lounging on an old recreational boating dock on the south shore.