Birdfinding Guides

ABA Birdfinding Guides

A Birder's Guide to Southern California

12/07 Updates

A Birder's Guide to Southern California

Brad Schram
Revised 2007
432 pages; paper (lay flat)
ISBN 1-878788-51-5
[Buy Book]

All serious North American birders eventually end up in Southern California. This is not due to Hollywood, Disneyland, or Malibu beaches. The vast, varied topography that is Southern California has recorded over 555 naturally occurring bird species, many of which are near endemics to its geography. Each of Southern California's many habitats offers its own specialties, and this guide will help you to find them all. Sooner or later, dedicated birders must come to Southern California.

The birding routes, with instructions and exact mileages between suggested stops, guide resident and visiting birders to hundreds of birding sites. New to this edition are chapters covering Kern River Valley, the rugged Clark Mountain wilderness, southeastern California's Blythe region, Sespe Condor Sanctuary, coastal Ventura County, and birding hot spots in suburban San Fernando Valley. All chapters from earlier editions and their locations have been revisited by the author and/or local bird authorities to test current conditions and confirm or revise birding information for accuracy. The maps, bar-graphs, and Specialties section all have been up-dated to ensure that the reader has effective tools at hand for contemporary birding.

Brad Schram brings over 40 years of local birding expertise to this 5th edition of A Birder's Guide to Southern California. He and the devoted California birders who helped explain their local birding turf have created a birdfinding guide which will help you figure out where to go, when to go, and what you'll see when you get there.

Table of Contents, and bird species mentioned in the text:

Introduction

1

San Fernando Valley by Steve Sosensky

22

Palos Verdes Peninsula by Martin Byhower

30

Coastal Ventura County and the Oxnard Plain by David Pereksta

46

 

Camino Real and Arroyo Verde Parks

58

Sespe Condor Sanctuary

60

Santa Barbara County

64

Condor Country

80

San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay Areas

86

 

San Simeon Coast

101

Carrizo Plain, Maricopa, and Mount Pinos Areas

104

 

Castle Crags

106

 

Quatal and Ballinger Canyons

118

Kern River Valley and Southern Sierra Nevada by Bob Barnes

120

Kern Desert Oases and Piute Mountains by Keith Axelson

140

 

Inyokern. Le Conte’s Thrasher by Bob Barnes

148

Death Valley

150

 

Tecopa – Inyo County

159

Clark Mountain by Chris Conard

160

Mojave National Preserve Loop

166

Joshua Tree National Park

172

 

Desert Center Birding Areas

177

Blythe Birding by Roger Higson

178

Imperial Dam Loop

184

Saltron Sea Loop by Stacy Peterson

188

 

South and West of Brawley

204

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

206

Laguna Mountains Loop

214

San Diego Area

220

 

San Dieguito River Park

236

Palomar Mountain Loop

238

Coastal Orange County by Sylvia Ranney Gallagher

248

Santa Ana Mountains

264

 

Santa Ana River Shorebird Spots

272

San Jacinto Mountain Highlands

274

 

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

279

San Bernardino Mountains Loop

280

Western Riverside County Loop by Chet McGaugh

292

San Gabriel Mountains by Thomas E. Wurster

300

The Antelope Valley by Charles Hood

312

Pelagic and Island Birding

320

Other Good Birding Spots

328

Suggested Itineraries

344

Southern California Specialties

355

Birds of Southern California (bar graphs)

383

Birds Seldom Seen but Possible

402

Accidentals

403

Southern California Butterflies by Wanda Dameron

405

Southern California Mammals

407

Southern California Reptiles & Amphibians

408

References

409

ABA Code of Birding Ethics

412

Index

416

Popular Birds of Southern California:

A

B

C

Abert's Towhee
Acorn Woodpecker
Alder Flycatcher
Allen's Hummingbird
American  Golden-Plover
American Avocet
American Bittern
American Crow
American Dipper
American Golden-Plover
American Goldfinch
American Kestrel
American Oystercatcher
American Pipit
American Redstart
American Robin
American Tree Sparrow
American White Pelican
American Wigeon
American Woodcock
Ancient Murrelet
Anhinga
Anna's Hummingbird
Arctic Loon
Arctic Tern
Arctic Warbler
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Ashy Storm-Petrel

Baikal Teal, Anas formosa
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sparrow
Bald Eagle
Baltimore Oriole
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel
Band-tailed Pigeon
Barn Owl
Barn Swallow
Barrow's Goldeneye
Bar-tailed Godwit
Bay-breasted Warbler 
Belcher's Gull
Bell's Vireo
Belted Kingfisher
Bendire's Thrasher
Bewick's Wren
Black Oystercatcher
Black Phoebe
Black Rail
Black Seater
Black Skimmer
Black Storm-Petrel
Black Swift
Black Tern
Black Turnstone surfbird
Black-and-white Warbler
Black-bellied Plover
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 
Black-billed Cuckoo 
Black-billed Magpie 
Blackburnian Warbler
Black-chinned Sparrow
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-footed Albatross
Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-necked Stilt
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Black-tailed Gull
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Gray
Black-throated Green  Warbler
Black-throated Sparrow
Black-vented Shearwater
Blue Grosbeak
Blue Jay
Blue-footed Booby
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Warbler
Bobolink
Bohemian Waxwing
Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
Bonaparte's Gull
Brandt's Cormorant
Brant
Brewer's Blackbird
Bridled Tern 
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Bronzed Cowbird
Brown Booby
Brown Creeper
Brown Pelican
Brown Thrasher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Brown-headed Cowbird
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Bufflehead
Buller's Shearwater
Bullock's Oriole
Bulwer's Petrel 
Burrowing Owl
Bushtit Red-breasted Nuthatch

C willet
Cackling Goose
Cactus Wren
Cali fornia Gnatcatcher
California Condor
California Gull
California Quail
California Thrasher
California Towhee
Calliope Hummingbird
Canada Goose
Canada Warbler
Canvasback
Canyon Wren
Cape May Warbler
Caspian Tern
Cassin's Auklet Nestson
Cassin's Finch
Cassin's Kingbird
Cassin's Sparrow
Cassin's Vireo
Cattle Egret
Cave Swallow
Cedar Waxw ing
Cerulean  Warbler
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Chimney Swift
Chipping Sparrow
Chukar
Cinnamon Teal
Clapper Rail
Clark's  Grebe
Clark's Nutcracker
Clay-colored Sparrow
Common Black-Hawk
Common Goldeneye
Common Grackle
Common Ground-Dove
Common Loon
Common Merganser
Common Murre
Common Nighthawk
Common Pochard 
Common Poorwill
Common Raven
Common Tern
Common Yellowthroat
Connecticut Warbler
Cook's Petrel
Cooper's Hawk
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Costa's Hummingbird
Couch's Kingbird
Craveri's Murrelet
Crested Caracara
Crissa Thrasher
Curlew  Sandpiper
Curve-billed  Thrasher

D

E

F

Dark-eyed Junco
Double-crested Cormorant
Downy Woodpecker Hairy 
Dunlin
Dusky Flycatcher
Dusky Warbler
Dusky-capped  Flycatcher

Eared Grebe
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Phoebe 
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Elegant Tern
Emperor Goose
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Eurasian Dotterer 
Eurasian Wigeon
European Starling
Evening Grosbeak
Eyebrowed Woodpecker

Ferruginous Hawk
Field Sparrow 
Flammulated Owl
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Forster's Tern
Fox Sparrow (Thick-billed)
Franklin's Gull
Fulvous Whistling Duck

G

H

I, J & K

Gadwall
Gambel's Quail
Gila Woodpecker
Gilded Flicker
Glaucous  Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glossy Ibis
Golden Eagle
Golden-crowned  Sparrow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Golden-winged Warbler
Grace's Warbler
Grasshopper Sparrow
Gray Catbird
Gray Flycatc
Gray Vireo
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Gray-crowned Rosy-finch
Gray-tailed Tattler
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Egret
Great Horned Owl
Greater Pewee
Greater Roadrunner
Greater Scaup
Greater Yellowlegs
Great-tailed Grackle
Green Heron
Green-tailed Towhee
Green-winged Teal
Groove-billed 
Gull-billed Tern

Hammond's Flycatcher
Harlequin  Duck
Harris's Hawk
Harris's Sparrow
Heermann's Gull
Hepatic Tanager
Hermit Thrush
Herring Gull
Hooded Warbler
Hooded Merganser
Hooded Oriole
Horned Puffin
Horned Grebe
Horned Lark
House Finch
House Sparrow
House Wren
Hudsonian Godwit
Hummingbird
Hutton's Vireo

Inca Dove
Ivory Gull
Hermit Warbler

 

Juniper Titmouse

Kentucky Warbler
Killdeer
King Eider
Kittlitz's Murrelet

 

L

M

N

Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Lapland Longspur
Lark Bunting
Lark Sparrow
Laughing Gull
Lawrence's Goldfinch
Laysan Albatross
Lazuli Bunting
Le Conte's Sparrow
Leach's Storm-Petrel
Least Bittern
Least Flycatcher
Least Grebe
Least Sandpiper
Least Storm-Petrel
Least Tern
LeConte's Thrasher
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Goldfinch
Lesser Nighthawk
Lesser Sand (Mongolian) Plover
Lesser Scaup
Lewis's Woodpecker
Lincoln 's Sparrow
Little Blue Heron
Little Bunting
Little Curlew
Little Gull
Little Stint
Loggerhead Shrike
Long-billed Curlew
Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-eared Owl
Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed jaeger
Louisiana Waterthrush 
Lucy's Warbler

MacGillivray's Warbler
Magnificent Frigate bird
Magnificent Hummingbird
Magnolia Warbler
Mallard
Manx Shearwater
Marbled Godwit
Marbled Murrelet
Marsh Wren
Masked Booby
McCown's Longspur
Merlin
Mew Gull
Mississippi Kite
Mottled Petrel 
Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Chickadee
Mountain Plover
Mountain Quail
Mourning Dove
Mourning Warbler 
Murphy's Petrel  

Nashville Warbler
Neotropic Cormorant
Northern Cardinal
Northern Flicker
Northern Fulmar
Northern Goshawk
Northern Harrier
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Parula
Northern Pintail
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Northern Rough-winged
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Northern Shoveler
Northern Shrike
Northern Waterthrush
Northern Wheatear
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Nutting's Flycatcher

O

P

Q-R

Oak Titmouse
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orchard Oriole
Oregon Gray-headed
Osprey
Ovenbird

Pacific Golden-Plover Snowy Plover
Pacific Loon
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Painted  Bunting
Palm Warbler
Parakeet  Auklet
Parasitic Jaeger
Pectoral Sandpiper
Pelagic Cormorant
Peregrine Falcon
Phainopepla
Philadelphia Vireo
Pied-billed Grebe
Pigeon Guillemot
Pine Siskin
Pine Warbler
Pink-footed Shearwater
Pinyon jay
Piping Plover
Plumbeous Vireo
Pomarine jaeger
Prairie Falcon
Prairie Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Purple Finch
Purple Gallinule
Purple Martin
Pygmy Nuthatch

Red Crossbill
Red Knot
Red Phalarope
Red-billed Tropic bird
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Reddish Egret
Red-eyed Vireo
Red-faced Warbler 
Red-footed Booby
Redhead
Red-headed  Woodpecker
Red-legged
Red-naped Sapsucker
Red-necked  Grebe  
Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Stint
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Tropicbird 
Red-throated Loon
Red-throated Pipit
Red-winged Blackbird
Rhinoceros Auklet
Ring- necked Duck
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-necked Pheasant
Robin Turdus
Rock Pigeon
Rock Sandpiper  
Rock Wren
Roseate Spoonbill
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Ross's Goose
Ross's Gull 
Rough-legged Hawk
Royal Tern
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruddy Duck
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
Ruddy Turnstone
Ruff
Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Rust y Blackbird
Rustic Bunting

S

T

U & V

Sabine's Gull
Sage Sparrow
Sage Thrasher
Sanderling
Sandhill Crane
Sandwich Tern
Savannah Sparrow (Large-billed)
Say's Phoebe
Scarlet Tanager
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Sedge Wren 
Semi-palmated Plover
Semi-palmated Sandpiper
Sharp-shinned Hawk  
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 
Short-billed Dowitcher
Short-eared Owl
Short-tailed Albatross
Short-tailed Shearwater
Smith's Longspur
Snow Bunting 
Snow Goose
Snowy Egret
Solitary Sandpiper
Song Sparrow
Sooty Shearwater
Sooty Tern 
South Polar Skua
Spotted Owl
Spotted Redshank
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Towhee
Sprague's Pipit
Steller's Jay
Streak-backed Oriole 
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher
Summer Tanager
Surf Seater
Swainson's Hawk
Swainson's Thrush
Swallow
Swallow Bank Swallow cliff
Swamp Sparrow

Tennessee Warbler
Thayer's Gull
Thick-billed
Thick-billed Kingbird
Thrush Turdus
Townsend's Solitaire
Townsend's Warbler
Tree Swallow
Tricolored Blackbird
Tricolored Heron
Tropical Kingbird
Trumpeter Swan
Tufted  Duck
Tufted Puffin
Tundra Swan
Turkey Vulture

Upland Sandpiper

Varied Bunting
Varied Thrush
Vaux's Swift
Veery
Vermilion Flycatcher
Vesper Sparrow
Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Violet-green Swallow
Virginia's Warbler

W

X, Y  and Z

Wandering Tattler
Warbler
Warbling Vireo
Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Western Bluebird
Western Grebe
Western Gull
Western Kingbird
Western Meadowlark
Western Sandpiper
Western Screech-Owl
Western Scrub-Jay
Western Tanager
Western Wood-Pewee
Whimbrel
Whip-poor-will
White fronted Goose
White Ibis
White Wagtail
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-crowned  Sparrow
White-eyed Vireo
White-faced Ibis
White-rumped Sandpiper
White-tailed Kite
White-tailed Tropicbird
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Swift
White-winged Dove
White-winged Seater
Wild Turkey
Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Plover
Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Storm
Wilson's Warbler
Winter Wren
Wood Duck
Wood Stork
Wood Thrush 
Woodpecker White-headed
Worm-eating Warbler
Wrentit

Xantus's Murrelet
Yellow Rail
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
Yellow-billed Loon
Yellow-billed Magpie
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-footed Gull
Yellow-green Vireo
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Vireo
Yellow-throated Warbler 
Zone-tailed Hawk