State of California

Californian Quail Lophortyx californica ©Don Des Jardin Website
Birding California

California, longer than Italy, is really at least two countries masquerading as one state – to the south of San Francisco old Spanish California, to the north old Russian California, each divided within itself as well to present state-wide some 9 big natural regions of coast and valley and desert and mountain, with bio-regions (such as watersheds) in turn within each of them. Besides its famous extremes – the highest and (remarkably nearby) the lowest points in the contiguous states – California boasts a staggering array of natural habitats: the largest mountain mass (Cascade-Sierra) in the U.S., 5,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of river and stream, 40 million acres of forest, the huge Mohave Desert, 1340 miles of coastline, the superlatives go on.

Almost half the state’s 158,000 square miles are publicly owned. As Arnold Small (1994) notes, California includes 8 national parks, a national seashore, 4 national recreation areas, 7 national monuments, 21 national forests, 3 national marine sanctuaries, federally protected wilderness areas, desert conservation areas, and national wildlife refuges, as well as state parks, state refuges, and wildlife management areas.

The great majority of California’s 33 million human inhabitants jam into just two coastal agglomerations – San Diego to Los Angeles in the south, and the San Francisco Bay area at the state’s waist. (SF may claim to lie in northern California, but it barely does: half the state still lies north of it.) There are other big cities – Santa Barbara on the coast between SF and LA, Sacramento (the state’s capitol) in the vast Central Valley, agricultural centres, tourist attraction concentrations, and towns all over, of course; but beyond the reach of the coastal San San corridor (itself spottily if intensively settled); one senses one is in the provinces of this immense (and, to be honest, immensely provincial) state.

619 bird species had been officially recorded in California. Several counties have lists of over 450 species and growing numbers of birders in their own 400 Clubs. Two counties, LA and San Diego have topped the 500 mark! The state Big Day record stands at 231 species! In some places one can encounter over 100 species in a day of vigorous birding anytime in the year.

So how can I describe this place for general visiting birders, without knowing their plans and hopes? I can’t. It would be better, perhaps, to recommend what books may help in different places, and to suggest some ways to get a birding visit under control at least in anticipation.

This page is sponsored by Daniel Edelstein Birding Tours

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 672

    (As at December 2018)

    State Bird - Californian Quail Lophortyx californica

  • Number of endemics: 2

    Island Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma insularis Yellow-billed Magpie Pica nuttalli but one other, California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum is only found here and into Baja California
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Birder's Guide to Southern California

    | By Brad Schram | American Birding Association | 2007 | Paperback | 432 pages, illustrations, maps, graphs | ISBN: 9781878788511 Buy this book from
  • A Californian's Guide to the Birds Among Us

    | By Charles Hood | Heyday Books | 2017 | Paperback | 192 pages, 350 colour photos and colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781597143837 Buy this book from
  • ABA Field Guide to Birds of California

    | By Álvaro Jaramillo | Scott & Nix, Inc | 2020 | Paperback | 352 pages, 450+ colour photos | ISBN: 9781935622505 Buy this book from
  • All About Birds California

    | By Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) | Princeton University Press | 2022 | Paperback | 299 pages, 872 colour photos, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780691990057 Buy this book from
  • An Introduction to Birds of the Southern California Coast

    | By Joan Easton Lentz | University of California Press | 2006 | Paperback | 240 pages, 120 colour plates, 51 line drawings, 16 maps | ISBN: 9780520243217 Buy this book from
  • An Introduction to Northern California Birds

    | By Herbert Clarke | Mountain Press Publishing Company | 1995 | Paperback | 190 pages, 229 colour photos | ISBN: 9780878423125 Buy this book from
  • Birds of California

    | By Todd Telander | Falcon Guides | 2012 | Paperback | 96 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780762774173 Buy this book from
  • Birds of California Field Guide

    | By Stan Tekiela | Adventure Publications | 2022 | Paperback | Edition 2 | 448 pages, colour photos, distribution maps | ISBN: 9781647551988 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Northern California

    | By A Bezener & D Fix | Lone Pine Publishing | 2000 | Paperback | 384 pages, colour illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9781551052274 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Northern California

    | By David E Quady, Jon L Dunn, Kimball L Garrett & Brian E Small | R W Morse Company | 2016 | Paperback | 512 pages, 500+ colour photos | ISBN: 9780964081093 Buy this book from
  • California Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species

    | By James Kavanagh | Waterford Press | 2001 | Unbound | 12 pages, concertina style laminated, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781583551011 Buy this book from
  • Feeder Birds of Southern California

    | (A Folding Pocket Guide to Common Backyard Birds) | By Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) | Waterford Press | 2017 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781620052242 Buy this book from
  • Field Guide to Birds of the Northern California Coast

    | By Rich Stallcup, Jules Evens & Keith Hansen | University of California Press | 2014 | Paperback | 362 pages, 68 plates with 133 colour photos; 15 b/w illustrations, 12 b/w maps | ISBN: 9780520276178 Buy this book from
  • Important Bird Areas of California

    | By DS Cooper | Audubon California | 2004 | Paperback | 286 pages, photos | ISBN: 9780974727707 Buy this book from
  • National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: California

    | By Mel Baughman | National Geographic Society | 2005 | Paperback | 272 pages, maps, photos, drawings | ISBN: 9780792294658 Buy this book from
  • Watchable Birds of California

    | By Mary Taylor Gray | Mountain Press Publishing Company | 2000 | Paperback | 486 pages | ISBN: 9780878423897 Buy this book from
  • Wild Birds of California

    | By David Lukas | Companion Press | 2000 | Paperback | 135 pages, 150 colour photos | ISBN: 9780944197622 Buy this book from
Useful Information
  • California has 8 National Parks

    They are:Redwoods, Lassen, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Death Valley, Channel Islands, Joshua Tree
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Annual Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival

    TheAnnual Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival will be held April, along the Pacific Flyway in Northern California’s majestic redwood coastal region, is as diverse as our hundreds of shorebird species and famous redwood forest inhabitants (Marbled Murrelet anyone?) We think our festival will excite everyone from continent-jumping listers to the casual birder and nature enthusiast.
  • Berkeley Bird Festival

    The Berkeley Bird Festival, is a free “All Day All Berkeley” public event to honor and celebrate our local birdlife through bird-themed activities; including birding field trips, family-friendly art and craft activities, chalk art and a lecture/performance series “Winged Wonderment”.
  • Central Valley Birds Symposium

    All workshops and programs held at the Stockton Hilton Hot. It is highly recommended that you bring your binoculars to all programs and workshops.
  • Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival

    Long before Lodi existed, Sandhill Cranes descended into the rich delta wetlands at the end of a long migratory journey, some from nesting grounds as far away as Siberia. As they greeted California’s earliest explorers, these magnificent birds darkened the skies over winter marshes. In awe-inspiring numbers, and with a prehistoric call, stately gait, and elegant choreography, the Sandhill Crane continues to attract and inspire visitors...
  • Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Every autumn, thousands of migrating birds of prey appear over the Golden Gate near San Francisco, California. Why are they here? How are they doing? Where do they go?
  • Point Reys Bird Observatory (now Point Blue Conservation Science)

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Point Blue's 160 scientists develop nature-based solutions to climate change, habitat loss, and other environmental threats to benefit wildlife and people.
  • San Fransico Bay Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    ​Over the past 30-plus years we've grown our outreach program to include everything from traditional bird walks, science talks, bird ID workshops, and bird banding demos to initiatives to engage more diverse and under served communities in the Bay Area. These newer projects include family science nights, women in science events, youth programs for Scouts and the Boys and Girls Club, citizen science for the population at the Elmwoord Correctional facility, and bird walks for military veterans being treated at the Menlo Park Veterans Affairs health care center.
Museums & Universities
  • California Academy of Sciences Natural History Museum

    The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
  • Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Berkeley

    The MVZ Bird Collection has 174,000 specimens, placing it as one of the largest in the US. The majority of the specimens are preserved as study skins but the collection also contains skeletons, skins associated with skeletal material, and fluid-preserved specimens. In addition it contains 14,000 sets of nests and/or EGG sets. In the last 15 years special effort has been made to preserve an array of materials in conjunction with each specimen…
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

    Ornithology, the study of birds, is one of the founding disciplines of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. At the core of the program is a research collection of 121,000 bird specimens, representing over 5,400 species. Our collections are particularly strong for North America, Africa, South America, and the Pacific Ocean. The bird skeleton collection, representing over 17,000 individuals, is among the three largest in western North American and is an important resource for the Museum’s well-known studies of fossil birds.
  • San Diego Natural History Museum

    Beginning with the collection of pioneer mammalogist Frank Stephens, acquired in 1910, the Birds & Mammals Department holdings have grown into a major resource on bird and mammal species of western North America, including Baja California. Its taxonomic coverage includes 90% of the world's bird families and 58% of its mammal families, a coverage extended by the museum's status as a repository for specimens from the San Diego Zoo.
  • Altacal Audubon Society

    Altacal Audubon is most fortunate to be centered in one of the most diversified wildlife regions in California, the Northern Sacramento Valley of the Pacific Flyway. This unique area is home to exemplary migratory bird habitat and abundant wintering waterfowl, as well as native raptors, and varied terrestrial wildlife. The diverse habitats, mild winter weather, abundant food and rich quantities of water combined with the Flyway provide unique and abundant birding opportunities with well over 300 local species. We are dedicated to preserving and protecting this wealth of birds and their habitats through education, monthly programs on birds and related topics,field trips to natural areas and wildlife refuges, outreach booths at local events and youth outdoor education activities.
  • Antelope Valley Audubon Society

    Facebook Page
    The Antelope Valley Chapter of the Audubon Society is committed to the preservation, research, and observation of birds in their natural habitats. Get involved by learning more about the native wild birds of the AV, by going on guided field trips with experts and fellow chapter members, and by photographing species in their habitats.
  • Audubon California

    The mission of Audubon - California is to work in California to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. We provide leadership on state conservation and environmental education programs; we develop and strengthen local conservation action through our chapter network; and we participate as a division of the National Audubon Society on national and international campaigns to protect and restore wildlife habitats
  • Buena Vista Audubon Society

    The Buena Vista Audubon Society was chartered in 1951 as the coastal North San Diego County chapter of the National Audubon Society, and has approximately 2,000 members. Our programs help foster a knowledge and appreciation for the plants and animals that make up the natural ecosystem of our community. BVAS is a volunteer organization; over 350 volunteers run our nature center and programs, with the help of three part-time staff. BVAS is truly a member and community-supported organization, with the bulk of our operating funds coming from membership dues and donations
  • California Bird Records Committee

    The official site, which outlines the aims of the organization and also hosts the official lists for California.
  • California Parrot Project

    The Purpose of the California Parrot Project is to: Determine the geographical distribution of parrots in California. Determine the ecological parameters associated with successful colonization. Identify species present and determine their population sizes. Establish the extent of interbreeding between closely related congeners. Educate the public about naturalized parrots. Encourage public participation in the process of the scientific study of urban parrots…
  • California Partners in Flight San Francisco Bay

    We are a partnership of land and resource managers, scientists, advocates, regulators, funders, and other decision makers who are conserving wetlands through partnership-driven collaboration.
  • Central Sierra Audubon Society

    You have reached the Website for the Central Sierra Audubon Society, which includes both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. We are a chapter of the National Audubon Society and affiliated with Audubon of California. Central Sierra Audubon supports the mission of the National Audubon Society which is: to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s biodiversity.
  • Central Valley Bird Club

    The Central Valley Bird Club is dedicated to studies of the distribution, status, ecology and conservation of birds in California's Central Valley.
  • Conejo Valley Audubon Society

    CVAS strives to promote preservation, education, conversation and observation through the many activities that we perform on an annual basis. Our members are active in educational programs that emphasize the importance of bird watching and nature education in local schools. Field trips take place nearly every weekend (except for the summer) and are scattered throughout southern california. Experienced birders lead these trips designed to demonstrate the wide variety of migrant and residential birds that our area attracts every year.
  • Eastern Sierra Audubon Society

    Varied habitats from high in the Sierra Nevada and White Mountains down to the valley floors are a rich sampler of the incredible natural diversity that exists in the Eastern Sierra.
  • El Dorado Audubon

    Whether you are just beginning to become interested in learning more about nature, or whether you’re a seasoned birding veteran, El Dorado Audubon conducts plenty of activities and programs, most of them free! Membership is not required, and beginners are welcome! Feel free to read more about The Chapter and about our activities below. If you have questions please contact us.
  • Fresno Audubon Society

    Founded in 1966 Fresno Audubon is an independent chapter of the National Audubon Society. The mission of Fresno Audubon is to engage local communities in building a sustainable environment for people, birds, and other wildlife through education, science, and advocacy. Fresno Audubon hosts many educational programs, sponsors field trips and birding classes, advocates for local environmental conservation, engages community members in outdoor Citizen Science learning opportunities, and publishes the online blog – The Yellowbill.
  • Friends of Sausal Creek

    Our mission is to restore, maintain, and protect the Sausal Creek Watershed. We educate future generations, involve the community in local environmental stewardship, and collaborate with agencies and other nonprofits to have a positive impact on the local ecosystem.
  • Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society

    Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society is a provincially registered, non-profit society working as environmental stewards in conservation, education and restoration in Boundary Bay and the Fraser River delta.
  • Golden Gate Audubon Society

    Golden Gate Audubon is dedicated to protecting Bay Area birds, other wildlife, and their natural habitats. We conserve and restore wildlife habitats, connect people of all ages and backgrounds with the natural world, and educate and engage Bay Area residents in the protection of our shared, local environment. It is an independent, nonprofit organization with its own membership, budget and programs. Although we are a chapter of National Audubon, becoming a Supporting Member of Golden Gate Audubon is separate and distinct from membership in the National Audubon Society. Golden Gate Audubon Supporting Members receive The Gull newsletter, and play a critical role in protecting local birds and their habitats.
  • Kern Audubon Society

    Founded in Bakersfield, CA in 1973 and incorporated in 1979, Kern Audubon Society is a thriving environmental organization in Kern County. The chapter continually plans a number of exciting, fun, and educational projects for the community. There are regular program meetings and field trips to both common and unique habitats in California. Join us at a meeting or a field trip!
  • Kerncrest Audubon Society

    The Kerncrest Audubon Society is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to helping people learn about local wildlife, especially birds, and our natural surroundings. We are a chapter of the National Audubon Society. Headquartered in Ridgecrest, California, we serve the Indian Wells Valley and the Kern River Valley areas. We have bi-monthly meetings, monthly field trips, and sponsor several community activities. We invite members and the general public to participate in any of our activities.
  • La Purisima Audubon Society

    The La Purisima Audubon Society (LPAS) is a local chapter of the National Audubon Society. It is a non-profit, volunteer organization focusing on conservation and preservation of natural habitats, with an emphasis on birds, birding, and green tourism. LPAS serves the north Santa Barbara county communities of Lompoc, Santa Maria, Orcutt, Guadalupe, Santa Ynez, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, and Buellton…
  • Laguna Woods Audubon Society

    PO Box 2652 92654-2652, Laguna Hills - CA - US
  • Los Angeles Audubon Society

    The mission of Los Angeles Audubon is to promote the enjoyment and protection of birds and other wildlife through recreation, education, conservation and restoration.
  • Madrone Audubon Society

    The Sonoma County Chapter of the National Audubon Society was established in 1967 as a non-profit organization promoting education, enjoyment, and protection of the natural world, especially birds.
  • Marin Audubon Society

    For more than 60 years Marin Audubon has worked to protect wildlife habitat in Marin, sometimes stepping in to buy land that is slated for development. MAS also provides its members and the public many opportunities to experience the birdlife and nature of Marin County and beyond through Field Trips and Events, our monthly MAS newsletter The Rail, and three annual Marin Christmas Bird Counts.
  • Mendocino Coast Audubon Society

    The mission of the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society is to help people appreciate and enjoy native birds, and to conserve and restore local ecosystems for the benefit of native birds and other wildlife.
  • Mono Lake Committee

    The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit citizen's group dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mono Basin Ecosystem; educating the public about Mono Lake and the impacts on the environment of excessive water use; and promoting cooperative solutions that protect Mono Lake and meet real water needs without transferring environmental problems to other areas
  • Monterey Audubon Society

    Founded in 1943, the Monterey Audubon Society is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to conserving and celebrating the birds and wildlife of the greater Monterey Bay region. Our chapter includes 1000 members throughout Monterey and parts of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. We currently engage in an array of educational, citizen-science, and advocacy initiatives geared toward protecting the region's birds and its biological diversity.
  • Morro Coast Audubon Society

    The mission of the Morro Coast Audubon Society is to promote the appreciation, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems, focusing on the biological diversity of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, particularly in San Luis Obispo County, California. We are composed of volunteers devoting time, energy, and resources to enjoying and protecting the environment through conservation, research, education, expansion, and diversity. MCAS is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization (TIN=23-7165021) and all donations are tax deductible.
  • Mount Diablo Audubon Society

    Mt. Diablo Audubon Society is committed to the sustainable balance of our community's people, birds, other wildlife, and habitat through conservation, education, and advocacy.
  • Mount Shasta Area Audubon

    Facebook Page
    The Mount Shasta area offers outstanding opportunities to view more than 300 species of birds. The varied landscape, with its numerous creeks, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and wildlife refuges, attracts birds throughout the year–from Greater Sandhill Cranes nesting in the spring to hundreds of Bald Eagles that winter in the Klamath Basin Refuges. The Mount Shasta Area Audubon encourages birders by providing field trips; a colorful map titled “A Birder’s Guide to Driving Routes in Siskiyou County”; a checklist of birds in the county; and occasional programs. The chapter is also involved in education and conservation efforts to protect and enhance this beautiful region.
  • Napa-Solano Audubon Society

    Our mission is to share the fun of birding, promote conservation and scientific understanding of wild birds and their habitats, and offer engaging, science-based education emphasizing the communities of Napa and Solano counties.
  • Nature Conservancy California

    We have protected 1.5 million acres of landscapes and 3.8 million acres of sea floor off our coast in California—habitats that are essential to the survival of nature and people.
  • Ohlone Audubon Society

    The Ohlone Audubon Society serves southern and eastern Alameda County and provides conservation and environmental advocacy towards the protection and persistence of valuable habitat for birds and other native species throughout the County. In addition we provide educational programs including bird watching field trips led by knowledgeable leaders and monthly membership meetings featuring well-known scientists and journalists. The Ohlone Audubon Society is a non-proft 501(c)3 organization that is run completely by volunteers. The Board Members listed below are our current board officers and serve as volunteers to provide the public and the members with these services.
  • Palomar Audubon Society

    Serving the communities of Inland North San Diego County, including Escondido, Ramona, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Valley Center, Borrego Springs, and surrounding locales. ​Our Mission: To promote the protection, appreciation and enjoyment of birds and other wildlife through recreation, education and conservation.
  • Palos Verdes & South Bay Audubon Society

    The Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society and the National Audubon Society, of which PV/SB Audubon is the local chapter, are dedicated to the understanding and preservation of our natural heritage. Within the framework of National Audubon Society policies, we seek and implement ways to preserve indigenous flora and fauna, especially that of our local area, and provide educational services to the region's communities with respect to birds, wildlife, ecology and conservation.
  • Pasadena Audubon Society

    Pasadena Audubon Society serves the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Azusa, Duarte, El Monte, La Cañada, Monterey Park, Monrovia, Montrose, Pasadena, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, and Temple City. Our mission: To bring the excitement of birds to our community through birding, education and the conservation of bird habitats.
  • Peregrine Audubon Society

    Covering interior Mendocino County, California from Hopland north through the Sanel and Ukiah valleys to the Mendocino National Forest and including Boonville, Philo, Comptche, Potter Valley, Laytonville, and Covelo. Promoting the conservation of birds, wildlife, and their natural habitats, Peregrine Audubon provides informative and educational public programs and participates actively as an advocate for environmental conservation.
  • Plumas Audubon Society

    To promote understanding, appreciation, and protection of the biodiversity of the Feather River Region through education, research, and the restoration and conservation of natural ecosystems.Plumas Audubon turned 28 years young in 2017 and our conservation efforts have just begun. We continue to host informative programs and events, sponsor field trips to the best birding spots around the county, and coordinate Christmas Bird Counts, but we also do so much more.
  • Pomona Valley Audubon Society.

    The Pomona Valley Chapter is active in providing assistance for bird related questions (hotline), supporting our local wildlife rehabilitation center, Wild Wings of California, educating the public and members of the community about wildlife, and politically representing the issues of environmentalism and conservation…
  • Redbud Audubon

    The Redbud Audubon Society was founded in 1974 by a group of conservation minded Lake County Citizens. We are a nonprofit California corporation and operate under the umbrella of the National Audubon Society, one of the biggest and most successful conservation organizations in the Nation. When you join National Audubon Society, you receive the National Audubon Society Magazine and our monthly newsletter, the Western Grebe, which describes local programs and field trips and provides other conservation news. Your dues and donations help fund our organization’s local programs.
  • Redwood Region Audubon Society

    The Redwood Region Audubon Society is an energetic community of volunteers from all over northern California. We offer free bird walks every week, frequet programs, and numerous special outings. We are also a strong voice for conservation in our bioregion. We hope to see you at one of our events soon!
  • Sacramento Audubon Society

    The Sacramento Valley is in the Great Pacific Flyway which is the bird migration route from Alaska to Mexico. In Sacramento you can see about 250 species of birds. Trips organized by the Sacramento Audubon Society go north to Sacramento Wildlife Refuge, east to the Sierra foothills & mountains, south to the San Joaquin River delta, and west to the Pacific Ocean.
  • San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society (SBVAS)

    SBVAS strives to bring people to their natural environment. Focusing on birds and other wildlife, we hope to conserve natural resources in the Southern California's "Inland Empire," specifically San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial Counties. Founded in 1948, San Bernardino Valley Audubon is southeastern California's leading non-profit engaging people in the conservation of birds and their habitats. We involve people through recreational birding, envelop them in our education programs, and engage them in conservation actions from counting birds to working with local, state, and national policy makers. San Bernardino Valley Audubon is a fully independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
  • San Diego Audubon Society

    San Diego Audubon is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, an organization founded in 1905 to stop the slaughter of wild birds for their feathers. The early Audubon Society engineered a series of legal victories, culminating in the Migratory Bird Act of 1913 that halted the plume trade and rescued many of the most beautiful birds we see today from the brink of extinction. San Diego Audubon leads the way in fostering knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and seeks to become an even more significant resource for our communities through our education, environmental recreation, and numerous conservation programs. San Diego County has more animals and plants on the endangered species list than any other county in the U.S.
  • San Fernando Valley Audubon Society (SFVAS)

    Our fun and informative bird walks are free to anyone who wants to come along. Everything we do for education and conservation is free. Our members are our core, the people who understand the importance of birds in nature, who follow our activities and join us with their voices when we need to advocate for an important environmental issue. Please become a member and be part of all that SFVAudubon does!
  • San Joaquin Audubon Society

    A California Chapter of the National Audubon Society serving the communities of Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Manteca, Escalon, Ripon, and Lathrop--All of San Joaquin County.
  • Santa Barbara Audubon Society

    Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s Mission: To help conserve and restore the earth’s natural ecosystems and improve its biological diversity, principally in the Santa Barbara area, and to connect people with birds and nature through education, science-based projects and advocacy.
  • Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS)

    The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society promotes the enjoyment, understanding, and protection of birds and other wildlife by engaging people of all ages in birding, education, and conservation.
  • Santa Cruz Bird Club

    The Santa Cruz Bird Club was founded in 1956. The Club sponsors walks in and around the county of Santa Cruz, boat trips on Monterey Bay, summer picnics and annual dinners, meetings September through May featuring informative, illustrated talks on wild birds and related topics.
  • Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society

    We are a chapter of the National Audubon Society. Our territory goes along the Pacific Coast of Los Angeles County through Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu…
  • Sea & Sage Audubon Society

    An Orange County Chapter of the National Audubon Society - Sea & Sage Audubon Society's mission is to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, citizen science, research, and public policy advocacy.
  • Sequoia Audubon Society

    The mission of Sequoia Audubon Society is to participate actively in environmental education and conservation, and in the restoration, preservation, protection and enjoyment of our native natural resources with emphasis on birds and their habitats.
  • Sierra Club

    The Earth is our only home and the Sierra Club is dedicated to exploring, enjoying, and protecting it for everyone. The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.5+ million members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.
  • Sierra Foothills Audubon Society

    It is the mission of Sierra Foothills Audubon Society to educate ourselves and others to the variety and beauty of our natural environment and protect our wildlife and natural places.
  • Sonoma Birding

    Sonoma Birding was founded in 2004 in Sonoma Valley, CA. as a volunteer "citizen science" based conservation organization that has established sustainable bird and nature related activities and programs for all ages through a variety of partnerships in the United States and Canada.
  • Stanislaus Audubon Society

    The mission of the Stanislaus Audubon Society is to help people appreciate and enjoy wild birds; to monitor and document wild bird populations; and to promote the conservation of wild birds and their habitats for future generations through education, research, publication, and active citizenship. Also see the Facebook page.
  • Tulare County Audubon Society

    The mission of Tulare County Audubon is to conserve, protect and to educate the public about the outdoors. We emphasize education and the conservation of birds, and encourage the protection of all our natural resources and the environment. We meet on the third Friday of each month at 7 p.m. The first part of the meeting is business and usually lasts 15-20 minutes. The second part of the meeting includes a speaker on a conservation topic or photo presentation, open questions, and refreshments. We meet only during the school year (September - May) and we do not have general meetings in December and January.
  • Ventana Wildlife Society

    A non-profit organization founded in 1977, we are recovering California Condors in the wild and providing outdoor education programs for more than 1,000 youth annually.
  • Ventura Audubon Society

    Ventura Audubon Society is one of more than 450 chaptersof the National Audubon Society and one of 49 chapters inCalifornia. Separately incorporated, we are a 501(c)3 non-profitformed in the early 1980’s and incorporated in 1998. VAS dependsupon volunteers for its operation. We do not have a paid staff nordo we have a 'bricks and mortar' office.
  • Western Field Ornithologists

    WFO is an organization committed to field-oriented descriptive ornithology, with appeal for both amateur and professional. The region of interest encompasses the Rocky Mountain and Pacific states and provinces, including Alaska and Hawai'i, western Texas, northwestern Mexico, and the northeastern Pacific Ocean.
  • Whittier Audubon Society

    The Whittier Area Audubon Society is a chapter of National Audubon Society, which promotes the study of the protection of birds and all other related aspects of the environment. Please join us to learn about birds and their habitats at our educational programs, informative bird walks, and adventurous field trips.
  • Wintu Audubon Society

    The Wintu Audubon Society, founded in 1975, is a chapter of the National Audubon Society serving Redding and the Shasta County area. The mission of the Wintu Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. We promote enjoyment of the natural environment through education and interactive programs.
  • Yolo Audubon Society

    The Yolo Audubon Society puts on field trips and monthly meetings for all ages and levels of interest. Everyone is welcome! Discover the birds of Yolo County. It is our mission to foster an appreciation of birds and other wildlife through educational programs and field trips, bring conservation issues to public awareness, and act to preserve Yolo County bird life and habitat. Please join us for field trips, monthly program meetings, and other special activities. We look forward to helping you learn and discover more about what makes Yolo County birding so special.
  • Yosemite Area Audubon Society

    Joining Yosemite Area Audubon Society as a Member means that you are supporting our local efforts in Conservation and Citizen Science, including our ongoing Nestbox and Education programs. Membership in Yosemite Audubon is separate from membership in the National Audubon Society or in Audubon CA. Yosemite Area Audubon is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with its own membership, budget and programs. Although we are a chapter of National Audubon, we rely on support from local members to carry out our programs. Become part of our community, dedicated to protecting birds and to the conservation of our own special and unique local habitats. ALL of your dues go to our local programs and conservation efforts. None of volunteers staff or Board of Directors is paid.

Abbreviations Key

  • California National Wildlife Refuges

    WebpageSatellite View
    No wonder California is called the Golden State. Look at that burst of natural light through the clouds over Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Chanslor Wetlands Wildlife Project

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    2660 Highway One, Box 1510, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 - The Chanslor Wetlands Wildlife Project protects 250 acres of crucial habitat adjoining the historic fishing community of Bodega Bay just 1.25 hours north of the Golden Gate. Dedicated in 1993, the Chanslor Wetlands encompasses a rare brackish marsh as well as freshwater marshes, vernal pools, and ponds, bordered by Salmon Creek, a breeding stream for threatened Coho salmon, steelhead trout, the endangered tidewater goby and California freshwater shrimp. Located on the Pacific Flyway, this varied ecosystem attracts a myriad of migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, and raptors.
  • IBA Eagle Lake

    InformationSatellite View
    Eagle Lake is home to osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), from which it gets its name. The waterbirds of Eagle Lake have been studied since the early 1900s, with major investigations in the 1970s (Gould 1974) and the late 1990s (Shaw 1998). It supports California’s largest nesting colonies of Western and Clark’s grebes (4-5000 pr., fide D. Anderson) and possibly Eared Grebe (>3000 pr. in 1997), and was identified by Shuford (1998) as one of 10 key breeding sites for Black Tern in California, supporting over 100 pr.
  • IBA Salton Sea

    InformationSatellite View
    The Salton Sea defies description. Formed in 1905 when a break in a canal from the Colorado River filled the Salton Trough, it is arguably the most important body of water for birds in the interior of California. Those who claim the sea is totally un-natural fail to realize that it is a latter-day echo of ancient Lake Cahuilla, an even larger lake in the same spot that was the life-blood of the local Indian tribes (whose fish traps may be seen today high above the current level of the Salton Sea!). Ecologically, it may be thought of as the northern terminus of the Gulf of California, or an alternate flood plain/delta for the lower Colorado River, itself once among the most ecologically vital biomes in the Southwest. As scientists and conservationists discuss ways to save the sea by reducing salinity and preventing mass die-offs of birds, the Sea quietly waits, and rises. The avifauna of the Salton Sea has been studied for decades, and is defined by superlatives. Several bird species occur regularly here and nowhere else in western North America, contributing to the exceptionally high year-round diversity of birds here. These include one breeding species, Laughing Gull; two regular, post-breeding visitors (number vary): Wood Stork and Yellow-footed Gull; and a migrant and winter-resident shorebird, Stilt Sandpiper. The rare vanrossemii race of Gull-billed Tern breeds in the U.S. only here and at San Diego Bay. The wintering population of Eared Grebes on the Sea is the largest concentration in the world (estimates range from 0.3 to 3.5 million birds), and they are joined by thousands of Western and Clark?s grebes, likely the largest aggregation of these two species in California (Small 1994). Each summer, tens of thousands of American White Pelicans descend on the Sea, in all about 30% of the North American breeding population. Mullet Island, near the mouth of the Alamo River, hosts one of the largest breeding colonies of Double-crested Cormorants in western North America. About 40% of the U.S. population of Yuma Clapper Rail, essentially a lower Colorado River endemic, occurs in marshes at the edge of the sea.
  • IBA Tijuana River Reserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Tijuana River Reserve (one of three National Estuarine Research Areas in California) consists of about 2,500 acres of land at the extreme southwestern corner of California, adjacent to Mexico. It is dominated by two protected areas, Tijuana Slough NWR in the north, adjacent to the city of Imperial Beach, and Borderfield State Park to the south, along the Mexican border. The site consists of tidal saltmarsh associated with the mouth of the Tijuana River (which flows northwest from Baja California, Mexico), and also features natural coastal dunes, riparian thickets, and Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub. The riparian thickets and scrub habitats are primarily protected ina county-owned open space preserve.
  • List of California state parks

    InformationSatellite View
    This is a list of parks, historic resources, reserves and recreation areas in the California State Parks system
  • NERR Elkhorn Slough

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Elkhorn Slough is an ecological treasure at the heart of Monterey Bay. It provides much-needed habitat for hundreds of species of plants, animals and birds. The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation work with government, community agencies and other partners to protect this precious and scarce environment.
  • NR Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    The preserve is an oasis and transition zone between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. For centuries it was used by nomadic Indians, who found water and game plentiful here. More than 235 bird species have been observed in the preserve, including several rare species. Many additional transient species are present during the spring and fall migration seasons. Water also attracts desert bighorn sheep, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, and other mammals. The preserve is listed as a National Watchable Wildlife Site.
  • NR James Reserve Wildlife Observatory

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The James San Jacinto Mountains and Oasis de los Osos Reserves are part of the University of California’s Natural Reserve System (UCNRS). With over 750,000 acres and 39 protected biological field stations that are dedicated “to contribute to the understanding and wise stewardship of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service” the UCNRS is world’s largest reserve system managed by a university. The James San Jacinto Mountains and Oasis de los Osos Reserves are administered by the UC Riverside campus.
  • NR Kern River Preserve

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s finest remaining riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.
  • NWR Don Edwards San Francisco Bay

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is part of a complex made up of 6 other wildlife refuges in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1974 and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge exists to preserve wildlife habitat, protect threatened and endangered species, protect migratory birds, and provide opportunities for nature study…
  • NWR Humboldt Bay

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge protects land at both ends of the bay. The area is an important staging site for the Pacific black brant and other migratory waterfowl. The area also provides a wintering area for shorebirds…
  • NWR Imperial

    WebpageSatellite View
    Imperial National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect these wetland habitats. It includes more than 15,000 acres of federally designated wilderness and is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters set aside for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.
  • NWR Kern

    WebpageSatellite View
    Kern National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of 2 national wildlife refuges, Kern, and Pixley which total 16,810 acres of habitat in the Central Valley of California…
  • NWR San Diego

    WebpageSatellite View
    This large swath of open space extends from the U.S. Mexico border north to the southern border of San Diego's East County residential sprawl. Major geologic features of this IBA include the San Ysidro Mtns, (eastern) Otay Mesa, Jamul Mtns, San Miguel Mtns and the Sweetwater River drainage. It protects the largest contiguous block of coastal sage scrub in the U.S., and also includes extensive grassland habitat (esp. east of Lower Otay Reservoir), as well as large areas of oak woodland and riparian vegetation (esp. Sweetwater River) and pockets of freshwater marsh (esp. Sweetwater Reservoir).
  • NWR Stone Lakes

    WebpageSatellite View
    Originally part of the flood zone of the Sacramento and Cosumnes rivers prior to the creation of levees, this IBA also protects patches of remnant valley riparian woodland dominated by Valley Oak, as well as several vernal pools. Designated only in 1994, Stone Lakes NWR protects nearly 20,000 acres of grassland, cropland and freshwater wetland habitat straddling I-5 just south of Sacramento (T. Harvey, in litt.). The refuge area represents a mosaic of public (state and federal) and private land, about a third of which is under cultivation.
  • New River Wetlands Project

    WebpageSatellite View
    The New River was formed in the early 1900s when the Colorado River flooded. An international river, it originates 20 miles south of the Mexican border meanderingthrough agricultural fields until reaching its destination, the Salton Sea…
  • WR Cosumnes River Preserve

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The preserve is home to more than 250 bird species, more than 40 fish species, and some 400+ plant species have been verified. Keep an eye out for Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes, Northern Pintail, Swainson’s Hawks, and Black-necked Stilts. Within the preserve you can see for yourself the rich variety of American wildlife.
  • WR IBA Mission Bay

    WebpageSatellite View
    Mission Bay is a highly-altered estuarine complex within the City of San Diego that is currently developed primarily for aquatic vehicle recreation, with large hotels and vacation homes built atop former saltmarsh. Aside from the open water (which covers 1220 acres of eelgrass), the exposed shoreline of the bay and several scattered sandy and alkali flats (c. 10 acres), the most ecologically valuable habitat, saltmarsh, is restricted to two areas: the 40-acre Northern Wildlife Reserve (City of San Diego; University of California Reserve) and the 200-acre wetland that has developed along the soft-bottomed stretch of the San Diego River channel on the south side of Mission Bay.
  • WS Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary

    WebpageSatellite View
    This is a 430 acre wildlife sanctuary owned by the National Audubon Society and managed by volunteers of the Sacramento Audubon Society. Over 190 species of birds have been observed, including Black Crowned Night Herons, Wood Ducks and Swanson's Hawks.
  • WS Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary

    WebpageSatellite View
    The 785-acre Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary, located near Lakeside, is owned and maintained by San Diego Audubon. Its purpose is to preserve in as complete and natural a state as possible a prime area of coastal chaparral and riparian woodland. It is available for hiking, guided walks, bird watching, passive research, and education. Over 324 native plant species and 124 bird species have been recorded there, as well as numerous reptile and mammal species, including mule deer, bobcat, and raccoon.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Birding - California Public group

    Facebook Page
    A group focusing on birds in California. Bird Identification, and simply sharing images which have California birds.
  • Orange County Birding

    Sightings & News & Forum
    For Discussing and Sharing Local Bird Info - Welcome to Orange County Birding, a discussion forum for wild birds and birding in Orange County, southern California, USA. A total of 489 bird species have been recorded in our county, including California's first records of White-tailed Tropicbird, Falcated Duck, Ivory Gull, Red-legged Kittiwake, Couch's Kingbird, Bridled Tern, Nutting's Flycatcher, and Tropical Parula, as well as other notable finds such as Groove-billed Ani, Sooty Tern, Common Pochard, and Olive-backed Pipit.
  • Santa Barbara County Birding

    Discussion Group
    SBCOBIRDING is a discussion group devoted to sharing information about the birds of Santa Barbara County, CA. This includes the nearshore ocean waters and the Channel Islands within the county area. Topics may include daily trip reports, rare bird sightings, early and late migration dates, status and distribution, and ID issues. Brief announcements of upcoming meetings, hikes, and pelagic trips are also permitted. To learn more about local birding - where to go, find bird lists, county listing stats, and breeding bird data - visit the sbcobirding website link in the Group Information section.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Bird Treks

    Tour Operator
    Bird Treks has been providing small group and custom birding tours for over 20 years. Visit their website to see the incredible tours available, including a Complete California Tour!
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Birding Ecotours, a leader in small group and custom-made birding adventures worldwide, offers an amazing tour of the Californian desert, mountains and ocean – including two pelagic trips on the tour!
  • Daniel Edelstein Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    My birding experience and bird guiding tours for the last 25+ years include San Francisco Bay Area birding tours and California bird watching tours as a California birding guide, San Francisco birding guide and Marin County birding guide.
  • Fowlerope Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Fowlerope Birding Tours is a local company based in Humboldt County, California that specializes in guiding birders on custom tours in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in Northwestern California along the Redwood Coast and other areas in the Golden State.
  • Monterey Seabirds - Pelagics

    Monterey Seabirds features year-round pelagic trips enabling you to experience the seabirds of the Monterey Bay in their respective seasons.
  • San Diego Pelagics

    Tour Operator ( is a service of the Buena Vista Audubon Society of Oceanside, California. Trips include those sponsored by the Buena Vista Audubon Society (BVAS) and Searcher Natural History Tours. Welcome! We always make sure that each trip is fully staffed with 6-8 experienced seabirders as leaders and chummers, so that participants are never far from a leader!
  • Searcher Natural History Tours - Pelagics

    Tour Operator
    Spend several days offshore over deep-water canyons, underwater seamounts, and around islands of the southern California bight. Our 5-day tour travels north over the 9 Mile Bank, weaves through the Channel Islands, and continues past Point Conception to Arguello Canyon, Rodriguez Dome, San Juan Seamount and wherever the seabirds lead us.
  • Shearwater Journeys - Pelagics

    Tour Operator
    Debi Shearwater - In September 1976, I was mystified by my first encounter with a whale - the great Blue Whale! Since that time, I have seen many ocean wonders: 800,000 feeding Sooty Shearwaters, the annual rafting of the thousands of storm-petrels, the delicate calling of a pair of Ancient Murrelets, breaching Baird's Beaked Whales, mating dophins, singing Humpbacks, newborn Gray Whales, and oh yes, I have been eye-to-eye with the Sperm Whale!
  • SoCA Birding Guides

    Tour Operator
    Welcome to the joys of birding in Southern California. Each of our coastal counties has checklists of more than 400 species. Our inland counties get great desert and Mexican species difficult to find elsewhere. The ABA/Lane Birdfinding Guide A Birder's Guide to Southern California by Brad Schram lists more than 200 specialties, of which 182 are visible either on or from land. This book is highly recommended as a first resource for planning your birding in SoCA
  • Southwest Birders

    Tour Operator
    Our goal at Southwest Birders is to increase your enjoyment of birds and nature. We offer custom birding tours that cover California, Arizona, and Texas. Our web site offers bird-finding tips, detailed site guides, quality bird & nature photos, and hundreds of illustrated trip reports going back to 2001
Trip Reports
  • 2015 [03 March] - Erik Hirschfeld - Southern California

    PDF Report
    I made this trip alone as a break and to do some early March birding, a time that is not so productive in my country. It was all easy birding and travel and the photo opportunities were great. I put priorities on lifers, which meant that I did not spend much time sorting out immature gulls or counting individual waders in shorebird flocks.
  • 2015 [06 June] - Simon Colenutt - California & Arizona

    Report PDF
    Photo rich report
  • 2015 [09 September] - Chris Benesh

    ...The following day, we headed over Sonora Pass birding in the morning at Clark's Fork, before heading over the pass. We made a brief stop at Bridgeport Reservoir before heading to Lee Vining for the night. The next morning we were out exploring the South Tufa at first light. We spent much of the rest the morning exploring the Jeffrey Pine Forest along Highway 120. That was productive, with lots of Pinyon Jays and Clark's Nutcrackers. In the afternoon, we headed to the historic ghost town of Bodie. We had a terrific historical tour guided by Terri Geissinger, and then we set out for Greater Sage-Grouse. After a bit of searching, we found seven birds in the sagebrush near the parking area.
  • 2015 [10 October] - Anders Hangaard

    Annotated site list
  • 2015 [11 November] - Mike Neale

    PDF Report
    Highlights included the fantastic drive along Highway 1 coastal road between Monterey and Morro Bay; Spectacular scenery in Death Valley; Fantastic Redwood trees; Close observations of Bears, Coyotes and Sea Mammals; Watching the Migrating Monarch Butterflies and flocks of waders, pelicans and other birds on the way south...
  • 2016 [01 January] - Eileen Stuart

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [03 March] - Brent Steury - San Francisco

  • 2016 [07 July] - Wilton Family

    PDF Report
    ...As is typical of a family holiday, birding time is at a premium and restricted. In general I would try and get an hours birding in first thing in the morning, before everyone gets up, and try and push for stops that suit birding along the way. Visits were also made to national and state parks which also provided opportunities to bird. However it is frustrating to also have to drive by good birding habitat eg grasslands or coastal marsh, which are not of interest to the family!...
  • 2017 [03 March] - Jon Feenstra

    PDF Report
    ...Our first call was to Mile Square Park where we picked up Nuttal’s Woodpecker but missed the Cackling Goose recently reported. The next stop was very brief. We drove up Mojesco Canyon Road to the sight of a recently reported Lewis’s Woodpecker, as we arrived the bird alighted on a power pole directly in front of us....
  • 2017 [06 June] - Richard Rae - California, Oregon & Washington

    PDF Report
    This report describes the birding I was able to include on a road trip through these western states with my wife, 2 young children and sister-in-law. While birding was clearly not the primary aim of the trip, I was extremely happy with what I was able to see, which included the majority of species I considered realistically possible on such a trip, with a few bonuses thrown in...
  • 2017 [07 July] - Dave Sargeant - California and Arizona

    Central California: Campbell mud flats, Baylands Reserve, Pigeon Point, Lodi Water Treatment Area and Del Valle Park. Southeast Arizona: Nogales, California Gulch, Ruby, Mount Lemmon, Miller's Creek Trail, Greaterville Trail, Ash Canyon and Buckeye. Northern California: Sierra Nevada and Sierra Valley.
  • 2018 [04 April] - Max Berlijn

    PDF Report
    Annotated list...
  • 2018 [05 May] - Dermot Hughes & Colin Reid - Southern California, Arizona and a small bit of Nevada

    PDF Report
    Two birders, Dermot (Mr H) from Belfast, Northern Ireland and myself from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. We had planned this trip for last year, but, due to an unforeseen accident, had had to put it off for twelve months. We’re both 63 and been friends for 50 years and have birded together on and off during that time. Mr H has a background in conservation and eco-consultation. I’m just a birder...
  • 2018 [05 May] - Jaap Westra | Northern California

    PDF Report
    Road we connected with all the species we set out for: California Quail (lots of them!), Greater Roadrunner, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Magpie, Wrentit, California Thrasher, Bell’s Sparrow and Lawrence’s Goldfinch
  • 2018 [08 August] - Julian Thomas

    To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail, and I felt we had done insufficient homework before this trip in terms of staking out particular ‘must see’ species. Basically we planned an itinerary that allowed us to visit some prime sites for scenery and wildlife in California, at a reasonably leisurely pace with the idea we would just enjoy the wildlife we chanced upon at these locations. This strategy was not a total failure and we had some memorable sightings with some excellent photo opportunities. We asked ‘America and Canada as you like it’ to put arrange flights, car hire and accommodation.
  • 2018 [09 September] - Kenny Musgrove

    PDF Report
    Traffic was extremely high and it took a lot longer than usual, and aswe found out later this was due to the fact it was a holiday weekend in California. Birds seen en route were minimal but a few Turkey Vultures, American Crows and a single Red-shouldered Hawk were seen flying overhead and Collard Doves, Starlings and Brewer’s Blackbirds were seen on the wires as we finally arrived at the Comfort Inn, our base for the first two nights.
  • 2018 [09 September] - Tom Johnson

    PDF Report
    We started out birding along the shores of San Francisco Bay, finding tons of waterfowl and shorebirds and seeing such specialties as Ridgway's Rail, Vaux's Swift, White-tailed Kite, Western Screech-Owl, Nuttall's Woodpecker, and more. We even heard a Black Rail calling at the Alviso Marina (though it remained hidden from sight).
  • 2019 [02 February] - Chris Townend

    PDF Report
    The coastline around Monterey Bay is great for waders too with specialities such as Surfbird and Black Turnstone and the nearby impressive Big Sur coastline has a good population of the mighty California Condor! We saw a total of 146 species of bird and recorded 20 mammals on this tour.
  • 2019 [04 April] - Sjoerd Radstaak

    PDF Report
    As for the targets, we dipped on Rufous-capped Warbler, Blue-throated Hummingbird, and Tufted Flycatcher. We didn't try for Rose-throated Becard as we ran out of time. In total we recorded c. 270 species.
  • 2019 [05 May] - Kenny Musgrove

    PDF Report
    This produced the first lifer of the trip in the form of a Lucy’s Warbler in the tree next to the car. Other birds seen were Black-chinned Hummingbird, Verdin, Gila Woodpecker, Hooded Oriole, Western Kingbird, Starling, House Sparrow, Mourning Doves
  • 2021 [12 December] - David Yee - Birds & Wine

    PDF Report
    ...The group had incredible looks at a gorgeous Ferruginous Hawk perched on a power pole. We explored flooded fields along the way where shorebirds and waterfowl roamed including numerous gulls, including a Glaucous-winged and several Thayer’s Icelands. Continuing our drive, we had good looks at a Prairie Falcon on a power pole and great success viewing California Thrasher and Lewis’s Woodpecker on Rd 86 in Dunnigan Hills...
  • 2022 [02 February] - Chris Townend

    PDF Report
    ...These include the Grey Whale migration, thousands of migrating Snow Geese, one of the largest mainland Elephant Seal colonies in the world as well as a great time of the year to see Bobcat!
  • 2022 [03 March] - Greg Smith - Death Valley

    PDF Report
    .... Lots of Eurasiancollared Dove, with a smattering of White-winged and Mourning Dove, all cooing their lives away. Not too much in the way of migrants, although Yellow-rumped Warbler and White-crowned Sparrow were the most abundant. Lincoln Sparrow and American Pipit seemed to favor anything short and green...
  • 2022 [04 April] - Volker Hesse

    PDF Report
    Timing was a bit early in the year thus a few species had not yet arrived. Nevertheless we missed only few species of our wish list and managed to find 216 species including all of our top-priority birds.
  • 2022 [10 October] - Geoff Upton

    PDF Report
    ...The gardens were really good: I quickly picked up California Towhee, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, Anna’s Hummingbird, Black Phoebe, Northern Mockingbird and Chestnut-backed Chickadee. An interesting-sounding call turned out to be from a Nuttall’s Woodpecker and while searching for that a Yellow Warbler and a Pacific-slope Flycatcher dropped into the bushes...
  • 2023 [01 January] - Jon Atwood

    Annotated Species List
    This trip included visits to sites adjacent to the California coast (San Diego River, Mission Bay, Tijuana River National Wildlife Refuge, La Jolla, Lake Murray, Santee Lakes, San Elijo Lagoon and Balboa Park); mountain areas near Julian and Mt Palomar and Colorado Desert habitats in Anza-Borrego State Park (Tamarisk Grove Campground, State Park Visitor Center and Shelter Valley neighborhood) and the south end of the Salton Sea...
  • 2023 [05 May] - Anders Bacher Nielsen - Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California

    PDF Report
    An intense search for regional specialties in 5 US States
Places to Stay
  • Wikiup B&B

    Guests can watch for wildlife, including many varieties of birds, small animals and deer…
Other Links
  • Birding California’s Central Coast

    When I first drove the coast route from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, I couldn’t believe my eyes: mile after mile of undeveloped coastline giving way to redwood groves and towering hillsides, lush river mouths, and rocky gorges...
  • Birding Depot

    Whether you're watching birds in your yard or planning a bird watching vacation, Birding Depot has everything you need to attract and view wild birds. We carry a large variety of bird feeders, houses, and baths for backyard birders. In addition, we have an extensive line of optics, binoculars, and field guides for bird identification. Biriding Depot is family run business located in California
  • Birding in Yolo County

    There's not much original habitat left around here - all ag fields, channelized rivers, and a whole lot of non-native vegetation. Four of the historically prominant riparian breeders (Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Willow Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Yellow Warbler) are extirpated or only pass through as migrants. And finding rarities can be like getting water from rock
  • Birds of Orange County

    With a total species list of more than 450 birds, Orange County California is one of the best birding spots in the West. In all seasons there are a variety of birds to see in many different habitats- grassland, scrub, oak forest, riparian, suburban along with numerous fresh and saltwater habitats stretching from the county`s central lowlands to the coastal and Northern foothills. Consider this variety of habitats, its compact size, and the coastal location which places the county on the migration path of many birds and its easy to understand why Orange County is such a premier place for birding.
  • California County Birding

    California County Birding Pages - An interactive map of California with birding statistics, sites and other birding resources for all 58 California counties. We welcome additional contributions from those with special knowledge of the birds of any county.
  • Chris Otahal - Bird Conservation

    Facebook Page
    Greetings from my little corner of cyberspace! My name is Chris Otahal and I have studied birds using riparian (creek-side) habitat along the lower stretch of Coyote Creek where it enters the southern end of San Francisco Bay, California, United States. These studies were initiated by the Coyote Creek Riparian Station and are continued by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. I have since moved on to work for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (implementing the Endangered Species Act) but thought some of you may be interested in this AVIAN RESEARCH…
  • Creagrus

    My Creagrus site has two primary features: (1) Bird Families of the World - introductory pages with my photos (mostly; a few from others) for all 202 families in the world, and (2) lots of information about birds, birders, and birding in Monterey County, California (where I live).
  • Heritage Oak Winery

    ...On your right is our wildlife sanctuary. The list of animals that live here is a long one. Some of the larger ones are mule deer, fox, mink, skunks, raccoons, opossum, wild turkey and coyote. To add to this list, beaver and otter are common in the river....
  • Joe Morlan's California Birding Pages

    Tips and info from this ornithology instructor…
  • Nature Alley

    Discovering the natural beauty of Kern County is not difficult, the geological formations throughout the county have always fascinated me. Looking at the Temblor Range on the western slopes and the interesting sedimentary rock sculptures of the uplifted ocean floor with its Mojave Desert vegetation seems strangely familiar yet out of place
  • Optics4birding - Orange County

    Website is your one-stop source for quality binoculars, spotting scopes, tripods and related products. Our site features comprehensive binocular reviews, spotting scope reviews and other product reviews. Informative sections tell you how to choose binoculars, how binoculars and spotting scopes work, about digiscoping, caring for your optics, about night vision and much more…
  • Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots

    Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots A practical guide to birding in Sonoma County. Detailed maps, GPS data, species lists, and notes on sightings for more than 30 recommendations and nearby non-birding activities. Maintained by photographer and birder Colin Talcroft
  • South Bay Birders Unlimited

    A site with good links around the state and country as well as information on the local area, bird lists, articles etc. etc.
  • Vocalizations of birds in Douglas-fir forests of northwestern California

    Vocalizations of birds in Douglas-fir forests of northwestern California
  • Where to Go Birdwatching in Southern California

    Annotated map
  • Ann French - Bird Sightings by Ann

    Last updated December 2011 - It seems that this BLOG from orange county to have petered out early in 2004 but there are some archived photos of interest…
  • Beverly Robertson - Behind the Bins

    Last updated May 2010 - Beverly Robertson's musing…
  • Bob & Cynthia Kaufman - Two Birders To go

    Bob & Cynthia Kaufman's birding/bird-photography adventures in California and beyond…
  • Bourbon, Bastards and Birds

    Seagull Steve* started birding when he was 12 years old. This did not make him popular with the girls at the time and stunted development in crucial parts of his brain. Growing up in Southern California's fertile Ventura birding scene, he then made his way up to Arcata where he attended Humboldt State University and obtained a degree in Wildlife Management.
  • Dan Maxwell - Too Photos A Day

    Last updated August 2012 - A blog, posting 2 photos, every day, of birds, wildlife, and my travels….
  • Daniel Edelstein - Warbler Watch

    Got wood-warbler questions? If so, I have answers for you. I'm Daniel Edelstein — biologist, birding guide, birding instructor ( and — who ponders: Are there any wonders in our world more fascinating than the elegant beauty of wood-warblers? (All photos © Martin Meyers unless otherwise noted.)
  • Gary Nunn - San Diego Birding

    Birding California and beyond with Gary Nunn…
  • Greg Gillson - Birds of San Diego & other musings

    Quick highlights for Greg Gillson--Born in Minnesota in 1958, my family moved to Oregon in 1967. Began birding for a school project in 1972. Baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1974. Married to Marlene in 1978. Lived 1980-1984 in Ventura, California, where my 3 daughters were born, before moving back to Oregon in 1985. In September 2013 Marlene and I left the verdant, damp, cool, gloomy Pacific Northwest. We moved from the Portland, Oregon area to the sunny San Diego, California region.
  • Iris Kilpatrick - San Diego Bird Spot

    I hope you will find this site helpful when you come to bird in San Diego county. This site features local birds that live and nest here as well as birds that migrate through each year.
  • James Morgan & Torrie Reed - BirdWatchingBuzz

    Our site dedicated to all things related to bird-watching! We are here to provide you with the best advice regarding birds in general, ornithology, ways to attract birds into your garden, and nature in general.
  • Jeffrey Mann - Because Birds

    Because Birds started as a Tumblr blog then relaunched as a full-blown standard blog at the beginning of 2014. This website was created to be an outlet for any bird-related ramblings I have, as well as a place for me to share useful articles about bird photography, birding in the digital age, and fun things for bird lovers in general.
  • Jim Royer - Greenbirding

    Last updated April 2015 - I have created this blog to document my attempt to bird in as environmentally friendly fashion as possible, and to encourage others to do so.
  • Karen McQuade - OC Birder Girl

    Last updated October 2016 - This blog is about birding or bird watching in Orange County, California. It includes bird profiles, birding hot spots, and other Orange County birding information…
  • Larry Jordan - The Birders Report

    Hello fellow bird lovers! My name is Larry Jordan. My wife Brigitte and I have been living in Northern California for over 30 years now. We live on 40 acres of rolling hills with our menagerie of animals ranging from dogs and cats to goldfish and goats.
  • Pat Ulrich - Wildlife Photography Blog

    Thanks for visiting Pat Ulrich Wildlife & Nature Photography. I hope you enjoy looking through my galleries. I'm a full time graduate student and spare time nature photographer enjoying life in Northern California. I'm passionately dedicated to the conservation of our environment, and I think my love of all things natural comes through in my images. In addition to conservation actions we can all take, I believe that a conservation message spreads through education and inspiration -- and I hope to connect my viewers with the subjects I photograph and inspire them to get out and enjoy nature and to protect our beautiful planet…
  • R J Hall - A Brit Abroad

    Last updated 2014 - R J Hall's birding BLOG with some excellent photographs… seems to have come to a halt in 2009
  • Robert Groos Photography

    Photo BLOG
    I’m a freelance photographer living in the oak woodland foothills of the Sierra Nevada, south of Yosemite National Park. At heart, I’m a documentary photographer, and storyteller. My photos are the characters of my stories.
  • Scott Smithson - The Green Big Day

    Last update September 2015 - Scott Smithson, Santa Cruz County, promoting greener birding races etc…
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Dana Gardner

    I am an artist who has illustrated over 2 dozen books since 1977 on birds and natural history, including field guides to Costa Rica, Singapore, and Wallacea. My time overseas includes 6 years in the New World Tropics and 3 years in Southeast Asia. I have illustrated many of the books of the renowned ornithologist, Alexander Skutch. There are more than 180 images for you to enjoy.
  • Artist - David Tomb

    Current exhibition: Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas, September 12 - November 9, 2008
  • Artist - Keith Hansen

    Bird art site, depicting prints, books, t-shirts and tours by Keith Hansen, bird artist
  • Artist - Rita Sklar

  • Photographer - Barry Langdon-Lassagne

    Some excellent photographs handily catalogued by species order or site
  • Photographer - Don DesJardin

    An excellent US photographer with some brilliant bird photographs.
  • Photographer - Douglas Herr

    Another excellent site.
  • Photographer - Michael Daniel Ho

    Fine art images of birds and wildlife on premium photographic paper…
  • Photographer - Mike Danzenbaker

    This site contains photographs of birds by Mike Danzenbaker. It is believed to be the most extensive single-photographer exhibit of bird photos on the internet. Current coverage is primarily North America, but will eventually include all of the regions and categories in the following table. Photos of other wildlife and general nature will also be added in time.
  • Photographer - Phillip Colla

    Phillip Colla is a natural history photographer, videographer and writer specializing in wild marine mammals (whales, dolphins, seals); remote islands of the eastern Pacific and the California kelp forest. This site displays several hundred examples of his work.
  • Photographer - Robert Groos Photography

    Photo Blog
    I’m a freelance photographer living in the oak woodland foothills of the Sierra Nevada, south of Yosemite National Park. At heart, I’m a documentary photographer, and storyteller. My photos are the characters of my stories.
  • Photographer - Scott Bowers

    Planet Scott Slideshow - images from around the world - 500 bird photos and growing
  • Photographer - Tom Merigan

    These 237 bird species were encountered on walks in our region or seen on trips elsewhere in the world. I recently started photographing birds in a wide variety of natural settings to better identify what I was seeing even at distances. Now I am trying also to capture their great beauty,intelligence and dignity as well
  • Photographer - Will James Sooter

    Images of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus), Birds of Prey and shorebirds along the California coastline…

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

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