Birding Factoids

595 species
in 54 families

103 of the 246 species 
endemic to 
North America are 
represented here. 
2 state endemics
2 USA endemics

Checklist of California BirdsLocal EventsTours and GuidesRare Bird AlertsSpeciality BirdsPrint and Other ResourcesMap
For some photos of California Birds, check out Don DesJardins Website
as well as Cliff Buckton's California Bird Photos

If you are housebound and can't go birding, or a long way away from California, you may want to play "Chaser",
a real-time bird finding game for Southern California developed by Brad Sillasen

California Specialities
(Pause your cursor on the photo to see the species name. Click on the birds for more info... )
California Quail - California State Bird - Photo by Don Baccus
Photo by Don Baccus
Yellow-billed Magpie - Photo copyright Peter Weber
Photo copyright Peter Weber
Allen's Hummingbird - Photo by Dan True
Photo by Dan True
Elegant Tern - THREATENED - Photo copyright Jeremy Barker
Photo copyright Jeremy Barker
Anna's Hummingbird - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Wrentit - Photo copyright Peter LaTourrette
Photo copyright Peter LaTourrette
Western Sandpiper - Photo by Don Baccus
Photo by Don Baccus
...Island Scrub-Jay - ENDANGERED - Photo copyright Monte Taylor
Photo copyright Monte Taylor
House Finch - Photo copyright Ivan Petrov
Photo copyright Ivan Petrov
White-tailed Kite - Courtesy of SW Louisiana Birding Page
Courtesy of SW Louisiana Birding Page
Black Oystercatcher - Photo by Dan Baccus
Photo by Don Baccus
California Condor - Photo copyright Peter Weber
Photo copyright Peter Weber
Whimbrel - highest breeding density - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Black-Throated Gray Warbler - Photo by Patricia Michaels
Photo copyright Patricia Michaels
Tricolored Blackbird - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Blue-footed Booby - Photo by Martin Reid
Photo copyright Martin Reid
Lawrence's Goldfinch - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Bullock's Oriole - Photo copyright Douglas Herr
Photo copyright Douglas Herr
Caspian Tern - Photo copyright Karl Ng
Photo copyright Karl Ng
California Gnatcatcher - Photo copyright Peter Weber
Photo copyright Peter Weber
Costa's Hummingbird - Photo copyright William Zittrich
Photo copyright William Zittrich
Brown Pelican - Photo copyright Peter Wallack
Photo copyright Peter Wallack
South Polar Skua - Photo copyright Jeroen Creuwels
Photo copyright Jeroen Creuwels
Pacific Golden-Plover - Photo copyright Erik Breden
Photo copyright Erik Breden
White-headed Woodpecker - Photo copyright Douglas Herr
Photo copyright Douglas Herr

Clark's Grebe - Photo copyright Eric Breden

Photo copyright Eric Breden
Western Screech-Owl - Photo copyright Steve Metz
Photo copyright Steve Metz
Long-billed Dowicher - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Brewer's Blackbird - Photo copyright Erik Kleyheeg
Photo copyright Erik Kleyheeg
Black Phoebe - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Least Sandpiper - Photo copyright Bill Scholtz
Photo copyright Bill Scholtz

Hutton's Vireo - Photo copyright Patricia Michaels
Photo copyright Patricia Michaels

Lazuli Bunting - highest breeding density northern California - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin...
    Key to Icons....Klamath Basin NWR and the Key to IconsTule Lake National Wildlife Refuge
      are in southwestern Oregon and northern California, less than 30 miles apart. See also this site.
    Key to Icons....Short guide to winter birding in the Klamath Basin -
      Copyright © 1996, Don Baccus
    Key to Icons....Monterey Bay Pelagic Trips - The site provides trip report summaries ....
    Key to Icons....Pelagic Birding in Central California - by Angus Wilson. The 
      California Current is a hundred mile wide river of ocean water running from north to south along the west coast of North America. Pelagic birding in central California centers on three areas: (1) the Cordell Bank and Bodega Canyon (2) Monterey Bay and submarine Canyon and (3) more southerly Channel Islands.
    Key to Icons....Sacremento NWR Complex - includes Butte Sink, Colusa, Delevan,
      Sacramento River, and Sutter NWRs; and Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area.
    Key to Icons....Salton Sea NWR Complex (Salton Sea and Coachella Valley ....
    Key to Icons....Birding in the North Bay - Bodega Bay
    Key to Icons    Santa Barbara and the Los Padres National Forest - Los Padres
      spans some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes to be found anywhere in the State ranging from the intertidal zone of the Big Sur coast, to the semi~desert of the Cuyama Badlands, to vast expanses of chaparral and, the conifer forests of Mt. Pinos. This environment provides an extremely wide diversity of plant communities and wildlife habitat. The Forest provides habitat for the endangered California Condor. Los Padres is largely roadless. The Forest provides a scenic backdrop for the urban communities of Ojai, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and the Big Sur coast.
    Key to Icons....Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve - is 1400 acres
      of rolling oak woodland, salt marsh, freshwater marsh, and mudflat.
    Key to Icons....Joshua Tree National Park -
    Key to Icons....Upper Newport Bay Regional Park and Ecological Reserve -
      includes approximately 1,000 acres of open space. Upper Newport Bay Regional Park surrounds the Ecological Reserve.
    Key to Icons....San Diego County Birding Locations - directions are provided ....
    Key to Icons....Yosemite National Park - Yosemite is home to approximately 37 
      types of trees, 1,400 flowering plants, 77 species of mammals, 250 varieties of birds, and 24 different types of amphibians and reptiles.
    Key to Icons....Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
      This protected bit of bay provides a starkly different world from the urbanization that surrounds it. It harbors 250 species of birds, including millions of waterfowl, shorebirds, and half the canvasback population on the west coast. Two endangered species -- the California clapper rail, the salt marsh harvest mouse -- exist year round at the refuge while three endangered species - the California brown pelican, the California least tern, and peregrine falcon -- frequent the Refuge. This is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
    ....Joe Morlan's California Birding Pages - An interactive map of 
      California with birding statistics, sites and other resources for all 58 California counties.
    ....California Audubon Society - IBAs - Audubon California has now
      released the final draft California Important Bird Areas report.  It provides information on over 200 sites in every county, suggested by bird experts from around the state.  Sites were selected using eight criteria, including concentrations of sensitive species, large numbers of individuals, unique bird habitats and long-term ornithological research. 
    ....Central Coast Birding Trail - The Central Coast is strategically located
      on the Pacific Flyway and provides habitat to many resident and migratory birds. Information is provided on birding hotspots in the four Counties of the Central Coast: Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
    ....Bay Area Ramblings - by Arnel Guanlao. Arnel Guanlao, despite 
      having a full-time job, spends his weekends wandering around the Bay Area checking out the trees, birds, wildflowers, critters, and whatever else crosses his path. Luckily for us, he enjoys sharing his findings with others.
    ....Birding California -by Mary Scott. This website contains
      information on:
      • Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve
      • Border Field State Park
      • Caspers Wilderness Park
      • El Dorado Regional Park & Nature Center
      • Elkorn Slough
      • Ortega Highway
      • San Elijo Lagoon Sanctuary
      • San Gabriel River
      • San Joachin Wildlife Sanctuary
      • San Juan Creek at Doheny State Beach
      • Santa Cruz Pelagic trip
      • Sweetwater Marsh NWR
      • Tijuana Slough NWR
      • Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
    ....Mono Lake: California, USA International Reserve. Located in
      California's spectacular Eastern Sierra, Mono Lake is an oasis in the dry Great Basin and a vital habitat for millions of migratory and nesting birds. 
    ....The NorthWest Bird Guide - by Greg Gillson. This website includes
      links to a wide selection of site guides for British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. 
    ....California National Wildlife Refuges - this site contains
      links to 36 California National Wildlife Refuge sites.
    ....The Kern River Preserve - The Kern River Preserve is a globally
      important bird area. Birders can see over 100 species in a day right on the preserve. We have almost 200 species nesting on or near this preserve. It is also one of the best places in So. California to see Lawrence's Goldfinch. Our nesting rarities include: Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo (June-August only), Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, Lazuli Bunting, and Summer Tanager.
    ....Birding Kern County, California - by Alison Sheehey-Cunningham. 
      Kern County birding can be extremely rewarding. Five of California’s six ecological bioregions occur in Kern County making this region one of the most ecologically diverse counties in the state. The county comprises the southernmost section of the San Joaquin Valley, the southern Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi's, and the westernmost Mojave Desert. 
    ....Rose-ringed Parakeets of Bakersfield, California - by Alison Sheehey
      and Barbara Mansfield. Bakersfield's population is conservatively estimated at 350 individuals, making this flock far and away the largest recorded in North America.
    ....Audubon - California: Sanctuaries 
    ....Inyo National Forest and Mono Lake -
    ....Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge is in the heart of Humboldt
      County and is part of a growing network of regional nature preserves
    ....Bobelane Audubon Sanctuary - located about 18 miles
      north of Sacramento, California on the Feather River east of highway 99 at the east end of Laurel Avenue.
    ....Point Reyes Bird Observatory - Point Reyes
      National Seashore lies along Highway 1 in western Marin County, about an hour northwest of San Francisco. It stretches roughly thirty miles from the tip of Tomales Point in the north -- past the towns of Inverness, Point Reyes Station and Olema -- to near Bolinas in the south. Another site on Point Reyes.
    ....Bolinas Lagoon - Audubon Canyon Ranch
    ....Seawatching in California - part of Noel Warner's birding site. 
      Information is provided on:
      • Palas Verdes Peninsula
      • Point Mugu
      • Goleta Point
      • Monterey Coast
      • Pigeon Point
    ....Humboldt County Birding Sites - For a wide variety of birding habitats
      --and several hundred species of birds--all within a relatively small area, come to Arcata on northern California's Redwood Coast. Besides its widely-acclaimed Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, located entirely within the city of Arcata, you can explore eight other birding areas all within 25 miles of Arcata. 
    ....Birding Sites in Santa Cruz County - this web site also has a 
      checklist of birds for the county as well as a listing of local birders who will show you around if you are visiting!
    ....Where To Bird In And Near The San Fernando Valley -
      includes links to:
      • Bette Davis Picnic Area
      • Chatsworth Reservoir
      • Descanso Gardens
      • Franklin Canyon Reservoir
      • Hansen Dam
      • Malibu Creek State Park
      • O'Melveny Park
      • Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area
      • Van Norman Reservoir
      • Veterans' Park
    ....Top 7 Birding Areas in Marin County - Marin County offers 
      some of the best birding on the West Coast. Of the almost 1000 species of birds in the United States, more than 180 have been spotted at Las Gallinas, more than 300 on Mt. Tamalpais and over 450 species have been counted on Pt. Reyes.
    ....Where to Bird in Orange County - Birding locations in Orange County
      with directions and descriptions.
    ....Millenium Birding in Los Angeles - By Martin Byhower. If you 
      only have a limited time to spend in Los Angeles, either on a business stop-over or perhaps a short family vacation, Martin reveals a great local park that can yield many southern California specialties.
    ....Orange County, California - Orange County has become heavily
      urbanized over the past fifty years, but it still retains a number of good birdwatching spots. Birding in Orange County is good in all seasons, but it can be especially productive during migration.
    ....Birding in Yolo County & Vicinity - by Steve Hampton
    ....Local Hotspots - from the Yolo County Audubon Society
    ....Eastern Sierra Birding Hot Spots - including
      information and locations of:
      • Lake Crowley
      • Birchim Canyon
      • Aspendell
      • Farmer's Pond
      • Brockman Lane Area
      • Warren and Klondike Lakes
      • Steward Lane
      • Tinemaha Reservoir
      • Cottonwood Marshes
      • Dirty Socks Hot Springs
      • Keeler Wetlands
      • North Haiwee Reservoir
    ....Palo Alto Baylands Preserve - the preserve offers miles of trails for
      hiking and biking along the salt marshes and sloughs. Trails connect with Shoreline Park in Mountain View providing the opportunity for even longer hikes and rides. Prime area for bird-watching. Also visit the Palo Alto Duck Pond and explore the San Francisco Bay ecosystem with the  assistance of the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Preserve Interpretive Center. Map on website. See also this very informative site.
    ....Moro Bay Estuary - Usually in the top five nationally in
      Audubon Christmas bird counts, the bay is a major stop on the Pacific Flyway and the winter home of over 70 migratory bird species.
    ...."IV THE BIRDS"  - Birds of the Imperial Valley (The Imperial
      Valley is located in the southeastern corner of California, bordered to the north by the Salton Sea, to the east by the Colorado River and the State of Arizona, to the south by Baja California, Mexico, and to the west by the Anza Borrego Desert State Park)
    ....Site Guide to the Cosumnes River Preserve - written by John Trochet. 
      The Cosumnes River Preserve in southern Sacramento County is a mosaic of many habitats. Some of these include cottonwood-willow woodland, oak savanna, fresh water tidal wetlands and swamps, seasonal wetlands, managed wetlands, agricultural fields, grasslands, vernal pools, numerous sloughs off the main channel of the river, seasonal creeks, a small perennial lake, and the best remaining valley oak riparian woodland in California. Bird List for the Reserve.
    ....Birding in King's County - by Luke Cole. Kings County is in the
      southwestern part of the San Joaquin Valley, with almost all of its land area comprised of the flat valley floor and some, in the west, comprised of the rolling hills of the Kettleman and Kreyenhagen Hills. The key to birding in the County is the level of water, which shifts from season to season. When there is ample water, the County is great for shorebirds and waterfowl, and interesting gulls seem to turn up regularly. Water level is also key to some roads, as the dirt ones turn to mush and the paved ones flood out in wet winters.
    ....Birding in Placer County, California -- by Bruce E. Webb. 
      The map and directions provide information on some of the best places to see most of the 300 bird species documented in this habitat-rich and bird-diverse county. Placer County is located in Northern California and reaches from the agricultural lands of the Central Valley, east through the oak and chaparral-covered foothills up over the high elevation habitats of the Sierra Nevada to the California-Nevada state line. 
    ....Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, California. Because Seal 
      Beach NWR is part of the Naval Weapons Stations, it has not been open to the public. However, in 1996, the refuge began offering monthly tours the last Saturday of each month. The refuge manager will also do arranged tours, but the request for the tour must be submitted to the Navy three weeks prior to the date of the tour. 
    ....The Wild Parrots of San Francisco's Telegraph Hill
      The wild parrots of Telegraph Hill (one of two San Francisco flocks) fly in a territory that extends from Walton Square near the Financial District to the eastern rim of the Presidio. The flock began in 1989 and includes the descendants of six or more Cherry-headed Conures, a Blue-crowned Conure, a Mitred Conure, and some Cherry-headed/Mitred hybrids. 
    ....Watchable Wildlife in California - From wave-battered headlands and
      quiet estuaries to spectacular mountain peaks and sprawling desert plateaus, California's world-famous scenery is a haven for wildlife. The diversity of habitats and wildlife species here are the greatest in the United States. Information is provided on the best vewing sites for Yellow-billed Magpies, Birds of  Prey, Sandhill Cranes, Herons and Egrets 
    ....California National Wildlife Refuges Index - site provides
      a clickable map leading to site descriptions of all the California Wildlife Refuges.
    ....Birding California - from On-Line Highways
    ....Death Valley Trip Report - May, 1997. By Doug and Arlene Ripley. 
      On the drive back to Las Vegas we reflected on all of the things we had done and sights we had seen in this remote, but spectacular area of the country. Like everywhere else we've been, we hope to return here again one day.
    ....Trip Report: California, September 17 to October 3, 1998 - by Cliff 
      Buckton. We had seen a total of 181 species during the holiday including 69 lifers. The hugely impressive and varied scenery never ceased to surprise us, and the laid back atmosphere and superb weather all helped to make this a truly memorable holiday. This is a richly illustrated trip report with many photos and maps. 
    ....Trip Report: A Northern California Sampler, July 23 - August 6, 1997,
      by Urs Geiser. "It wasn't really a birding trip," I kept saying, as my wife Mary and I spent two wonderful weeks taking in the natural sights all over northern California. And great sights they are, from the windswept headlands of Point Reyes to the rugged coast of Mendocino and Trinidad, the majestic redwoods of Muir Woods and Humboldt-Redwoods State Park, the huge ice cap of Mount Shasta towering 9000 feet over the surrounding plateau, the geothermal features of Lassen Volcanic National Park, sapphire-blue Lake Tahoe, the bizarre tufa formations of briny Mono Lake, the basalt columns of Devil's Postpile National Monument, the glacier-carved domes and valleys of Yosemite National Park, the unexpected rock formations at
      Pinnacles National Monument, and the great crescent of Monterey Bay. However, I squeezed in a fair amount of birding anyway. 
    ....Trip Report: Birding in Southern California - by Jim Rose - November
      2003. This website provides details of the species seen, along with many photographs, on a five day birding trip to Southern California, in particular in the San Diego and Salton sea areas. The website has been written by a British birder and therefore gives a perspective which is perhaps of particular interest to non-US birders.  Therefore, I have included as many photographs as possible, including the common species, in order to give an idea of what can be seen in the area over a few days
    ....California Trip Reports - a number of California trip reports are available
      from Blake Maybank's "Birding the Americas: Trip Report and Trip Planning Repository".

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Tours and Guides

>>>>>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for California Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Burrowing Owl - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Acorn Woodpecker - Photo copyright Tony Galvan
Photo copyright Tony Galvan

    **..Southwest Birders - Custom Birding & Nature Tours in California
      & Arizona. Whether it's an easy stroll along the Colorado River, or a dawn-to-dusk marathon around the Salton Sea, we'll design a custom  tour exclusively for you and help you find the birds you're seeking. And if you'd like, we'll take you to bubbling mud pots, wildflowers, reptiles, and historical sites! Southwest Birders is a partnership of birdwatchers who love the sport and would like to introduce you to the joys of birding in the Imperial and Lower Colorado River Valleys, Orange County, Southern Arizona, and coastal Southern California.  We know the area well and want to assist you in finding any birds that reside here. 
    ....Shearwater Journeys - Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable,
      and start planning your next northern California pelagic adventure! 
    ....California Birding with Victor Emmanuel Nature Tours (VENT)
      California is a state of tremendous diversity. Within the contiguous United States, it boasts the highest mountain, the lowest desert, the oldest and biggest trees and, once again, the largest flying bird. It also possesses some of the most beautiful forests, mountains, and coastlines, and probably the finest pelagic birding in the country. 

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Local Events

Western Scrub-Jay - Photo copyright Guy Tal
Photo copyright Guy Tal

Western Bluebird - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Oak Titmouse - Photo copyright Peter LaTourrette

Photo copyright Peter LaTourrette

Peregrine Falcon - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Stilt Sandpiper - highest breeding density - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Lesser Goldfinch - Photo copyright Patricia Michaels

Photo copyright Patricia Michaels

Heerman's Gull - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Mountain Quail - Photo copyright Bruce Craig

Photo copyright Bruce Craig

Western Gull - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin
California Thrasher - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
    ....Southern California Field Trips - This page provides links
      to field trips conducted by Southern California birding organizations. The trips are listed by date and then alphabetically for each month. Only trips for the current month should be considered to be complete.
    ....Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society - Field trips
    ....Tehachapi Mountains Birding Club - Field trips
    ....Upcoming Programs at Hayward Shoreline - San Francisco Bay
      Area. You can now sign up for programs that require reservations over the Internet.
    ....Various Birdwalks A series of drop in birdwalks around california.

    ....California Birding Festival Calendar - this site is ALWAYS up-to-date 

      about the upcoming birding festivals in California. But it only works in Internet Explorer. 
    ....Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. San Luis Obispo County,
      Held every year in January. Celebrate the return of the wintering birds in Morro Bay, a Pacific Flyway coastal area known for its natural beauty and over 230 bird species. The weekend includes 38 field trips (including kayak and canoe excursions), pelagic cruises, and special tours to see California Condors and Sandhill Cranes. Also join in some of the 17 workshops and programs, including presentations by Dr. Luis Baptista, an expert on bird songs, and Keith Hansen, a nationally prominent artist who will teach a workshop on field sketching. Contact: Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce, 880 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442; 800-231-0592 or 1-805-772-4467; fax 805-772-6038.
    ....Northern San Fransciso Bay Flyway Festival - Janary 21-23, 2005.
      Vallejo, Calfornia. The 7th Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival celebrates the return of over one million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of waterfowl which migrate through or winter in San Francisco Bay. 
    ....Snow Goose Festival - Bute County, California. January 27 - 29, 2006.
      The Snow Goose Festival’s mission is to increase public awareness, understanding, appreciation and conservation of the diverse wildlife and unique habitats of the northern Sacramento Valley.
    ....San Diego Bay Bird Festival - February 9 - 13, 2005 - San Diego, CA.
      Wintering birds and area specialities, field trips and seminars. Phone: 619-282-8687
    ....California Duck Days. Feb. 18 - 19, 2005 - Davis, California.
      Hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese and shorebirds can be seen in this Sacramento Valley festival. Contact: California Duck Days - Box 73333 - Davis, CA 95617 - Phone: 800-425-5001
    ....Salton Sea International Bird Festival. Feb. 18 - 21, 2005 - Imperial 
      California. Guided tours in the Imperial Valley and Northern Baja. Phone: 760-344-5FLY
    ....Wild on Wetlands Weekend - April 15 - 16, 2005   Los Banos, 
      CA. Visit the largest remaining block of wetlands in California’s Central Valley, and see some of its 200 species of birds, including the Aleutian race of the Canada Goose, Peregrine Falcon, and White-faced Ibis. Guided tours offer spectacular viewing of herds of the magnificent Tule Elk, enormous flocks of wintering waterfowl, and colorful wildflower displays. Workshops will highlight bird identification, banding, and wildlife photography. Contact: Los Banos Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 2117, Los Banos, CA 93635; 800-336-6354; fax 209-826-9689.
    ....Aleutian Goose Festival - April 1 - 3, 2005. Come join us in 
      celebrating the return of spring and the annual gathering of the world’s entire population of Aleutian Canada Geese. Watch at dawn, when the birds rise from their offshore island’s night rest and fill the sky with voice and wing as they move to feed in nearby mainland pastures. Down to less than 800 in the early 1970’s and now numbering nearly 30,000, the Aleutian Goose is an Endangered Species Act success story. 
    ....Clear Lake Heron Festival, Lake County, April 23, 2005.
      Contact Redbud Audubon Society TEL: (707) 994-2024.
    ....Godwit Days - April 15- 17, 2005 - Arcata, California.
      Extraordinary birding opportunities await you at the 9th annual Godwit Days shorebird celebration.  Located on California's North Coast we offer towering redwoods, rocky ocean coasts, wild river valleys, expansive mudflats of Humboldt Bay and the world-renowned Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, home to 253 species of birds and mammals...just minutes from the historic Arcata Plaza.
    ....Kern Valley Bioregions Festival - April 30 - May 1, 2005 - Kern Valley, 
      California. Over 300 species can be seen in this area during migration. Bird banding demonstrations and ID workshops will be presented. Contact: Karen Philips, Box 854 - Weldon, CA 93283 - Phone: 760-378-3345 or 800-350-7393.
    ....Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua - June 17 - 19, 2005. Lee Vining,
      California. 3 days of evening presentations, seminars, field trips, music, and great birding! Registration opens April 15, 2004. Events fill fast as soon as registration opens. All proceeds support continuing research in the Mono Basin. Contact: 760-647-6595 or
    ....Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration - July 30 - 31, 2005. 
    ....Kern Valley Vulture Festival- September 24 - 25, 2005 - Kern 
      Valley, California.Migrating raptors including including Golden Eagles and Prairie Falcons, plus the largest migration of Turkey Vultures (25,000 plus) in the United States. When you're tired of looking up, you can also check out migrating warblers and bird-banding demonstrations. Contact: Kern River Preserve, Box 1662 - Weldon, CA 93283 - Phone: 760-378-3345.
    ....Monterey Bay Bird Festival - First weekend in October.  ....SSandhill Crane Festival. November 4 - 5, 2005 - Lodi, CA. Phone: 
    ....Central Valley Birding Symposium - November 19 - 20, 2005.
      Contact the Central Valley Bird Club, Lodi, CA. TEL: (209) 235-2219
    ....Klamath Bald Eagle Festival - Klamath Basin Refuges,
      Route 1, Box 74, Tulelake, CA 96134, Tel. 916-667-2231, Fax 916-667-3299, e:mail

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Rare Bird Alerts

Bushtit - Photo copyright Peter LaTourrette
Photo copyright Peter LaTourrette
        NW California Birdbox - (Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino,
      & Trinity counties) Hotline: (707) 822-5666
        Los Angeles Hotline: (213) 874-1318
        Monterey Hotline: (831) 375-2577
        Morro Bay (San Luis Obispo County) Hotline: (805) 528-7182
        Northern California Birdbox Hotline: (415) 681-7422
       Southern California BirdBox Hotline: (818) 952-5502
        Orange County Hotline: (714) 487-6869
        Sacramento Hotline: 916/481-0118
        Southeastern California Hotline: (909) 793-5599
        San Diego Hotline: (619) 479-3400
        SanJoaquim/Southern Sierra Hotline: (209) 271-9420
        Santa Barbara Hotline: (805) 964-8240
    ....Eastern Sierra Bird Sightings
        Check also California RBA Archives

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North American Specialities in California

Information derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.5.
These counts will differ in minor ways from counts based on the ABA classification,
but an international checklist system was required to enable world-wide
country to country comparisons.These speciality birds may be uncommon, or extremely rare
at this location, or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species
noted below have been made in California. Species highlighted in bold italic print have
ONLY been found in this state of the US.  Consult the Breeding Bird Survey or
Christmas Bird Count data on the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center website
to determine the "best" place to see each bird. Species printed in blue are endangered.

California Endemics

___ Island Scrub-Jay ___ Yellow-billed Magpie
USA Endemics in California

___ Black Rosy-Finch ___ California Condor
North American Endemic Specialities in California

___ Abert's Towhee
___ Allen's Hummingbird
___ Anna's Hummingbird
___ Ashy Storm-Petrel
___ Baird's Sparrow
___ Bendire's Thrasher
___ Bewick's Wren
___ Black Oystercatcher
___ Black-chinned Hummingbird
___ Black-chinned Sparrow
___ Black-headed Grosbeak
___ Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
___ Black-throated Sparrow
___ Black-vented Shearwater
___ Blue Grouse
___ Blue-throated Hummingbird
___ Brandt's Cormorant
___ Brewer's Sparrow
___ Broad-billed Hummingbird
___ Bullock's Oriole
___ Cactus Wren
___ California Gnatcatcher
___ California Gull
___ California Thrasher
___ California Towhee
___ Calliope Hummingbird
___ Canyon Wren
___ Cassin's Auklet
___ Cassin's Finch
___ Cassin's Sparrow
___ Chestnut-backed Chickadee
___ Chestnut-collared Longspur
___ Clark's Grebe
___ Clark's Nutcracker
___ Common Poorwill
___ Cordilleran Flycatcher
___ Costa's Hummingbird
___ Craveri's Murrelet
___ Crissal Thrasher
___ Curve-billed Thrasher
___ Elf Owl
___ Ferruginous Hawk
___ Gambel's Quail
___ Gila Woodpecker
___ Gilded Flicker
___ Greater Roadrunner
___ Grey Flycatcher
___ Grey Vireo
___ Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch
___ Harris's Sparrow
___ House Finch
___ Lawrence's Goldfinch
___ Le Conte's Sparrow
___ Le Conte's Thrasher
___ Lewis's Woodpecker
___ Lucy's Warbler
___ McCown's Longspur
___ Mew Gull
___ Mountain Bluebird
___ Mountain Chickadee
___ Mountain Plover
___ Mountain Quail
___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
___ Nuttall's Woodpecker
___ Phainopepla
___ Pileated Woodpecker
___ Pinyon Jay
___ Plain Titmouse
___ Prairie Falcon
___ Pygmy Nuthatch
___ Pyrruloxia
___ Red-breasted Sapsucker
___ Red-naped Sapsucker
___ Red-Shouldered Hawk
___ Ruffed Grouse
___ Rufous-backed Thrush (Robin)
___ Rufous-crowned Sparrow
___ Sage Sparrow
___ Sage Thrasher
___ Say's Phoebe
___ Scott's Oriole
___ Sharp-tailed Grouse
___ Smith's Longspur
___ Spotted Owl
___ Spotted Towhee
___ Timberline Sparrow
___ Townsend's Solitaire
___ Tricolored Blackbird
___ Trumpeter Swan
___ Verdin
___ Violet-crowned Hummingbird
___ Western Bluebird
___ Western Grebe
___ Western Gull
___ Western Screech-Owl
___ Western Scrub-Jay
___ White-headed Woodpecker
___ White-tailed Ptarmigan
___ Williamson's Sapsucker
___ Wrentit
___ Xantus's Hummingbird
___ Xantus's Murrelet
___ Yellow-footed Gull

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Print and Other Resources on Birds

and Birding in California

(logos and links take you to on-line locations where you can order/purchase these resources)
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A small portion of your purchase price for any books purchased by following links from this site will go toward supporting the maintenance and development costs of this site.
    ....Birding Northern California (Birding Guides Series) by John Kemper.
      With the passion of a life-long birder and the precision of a former professor of engineering, John Kemper has written an exceptional, new site guide for northern California. Detailed information is given for 81 major locations from the Oregon border through Monterey, King, and Tulare counties plus the Kern River Valley in Kern County; Mono County and the White Mountains are included on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.
    ....A Birder's Guide to Southern California by Brad Schram. This popular
      guide was the first of the original Lane/Holt birdfinding guides to undergo a thorough revision when ABA assumed ownership of the series in 1990. It seems that change is synonymous with Southern California, and to keep the book useful and current a new edition has been prepared. New to this edition are chapters covering sites for finding California Condors, Death Valley National Park, Antelope Valley, and much more.
    ....National Geographic Guide to Birdwatching Sites : Western U.S.
      by Mel White. For outings near home or far, in habitats ranging from forests to seashores, this guide includes site descriptions, starred species lists, best seasons and vantage points, and travel and visitor information. 100 full-color photos, 8 maps. 
    ....The Distribution of the Birds of California by Joseph Grinnell. First
      printed in 1944,this edition includes all the original text plus appendices and maps. It details the habitat and distribution of every bird species found in the state in 1944. Because this book is so detailed and thorough, it is a useful baseline for monitoring avifaunal changes in the past 45 years. It belongs on the bookshelf of every environmental consultant or dedicated birder in the Golden State. 
    ....Birder's Guide to Northern California by Lolo Westrich, Jim Westrich.
    ....California Birds : An Introduction to Familiar Species (Pocket
      Naturalist) by James Kavanagh, Raymond Leung (Illustrator). 
    ....Handbook of California Birds by Vinson Brown, Jerry Buzzell
      (Illustrator), Henry Weston. Pictures and text identify the physical characteristics, habits, and habitat of a variety of birds native to California. 
    ....An Introduction to Northern California Birds by Herbert Clarke, 
      Kathleen Ort (Editor).  Photos of over 200 species in their natural surroundings mark a fine identification handbook which is more accessible for beginners than most. From discussions on the nesting habits and song attributes of each bird to identification tips and techniques, this packs in basic and important advice which beginners will appreciate. 
    ....An Introduction to Southern California Birds by Herbert Clarke. A
      non-technical treatment of 215 common species from nine habitats. Includes 252 good color photos.
    ....Watchable Birds of California (Watchable Bird Series) by Mary 
      Taylor Gray, Herbert Clarke (Photographer), Kathleen Ort (Editor)
    ....Other resources about Southern California Birds - American Birding
      Association Bookstore.
    ....Other resources about Northern California Birds - American Birding
      Association Bookstore.

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Links checked January 31, 2003