Photos by Anthony Bevilaqua
Left: Anna's hummingbird, 
Top right: Inidigo bunting
Bottom right: Yellowthroat

Located along the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south bird migratory route in America, and housing a diversity of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats, close to 380 birds, nearly half the North American total, can be observed year-round at each of the Coastal Southern California national parks. The parks are prime bird watching spots for a variety of landbirds, shorebirds, and seabirds. The diversity in the different groups makes the parks an ideal place for scientists to conduct research on native bird populations.

  • The Point Loma peninsula lays claim to 377 species, with over 200 spotted at Cabrillo National Monument alone.
  • At Channel Islands National Park, 387 species of birds have been observed including the island scrub jay, loggerhead shrike, bald eagle, golden eagle, Allen's hummingbird, Pacific-slope flycatcher, and Bewick's wren. Remarkably, 13 of the 44 breeding landbird species on the islands have differentiated into 18 endemic subspecies.
  • More than 380 species of resident and migratory birds can be seen in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Threats to birds in this region include pollution, habitat loss, changes in the ocean environment, and invasive non-native species like plants that change habitats or rats that eat eggs and chicks.

The parks have a number of programs and projects involving the monitoring of bird populations. Data gathered from these studies provide better information in the conservation and management on land birds. Learn more about some of these projects from the links below.