Southern California offers wonderful birding opportunities for the novice and the experienced birder alike. There is nothing like the site of big waves crashing into the rocky shoreline, but there are many other locations that are fantastic birding areas along this picturesque strip of country. I started my life list in Santa Barbara when I was going to college and the first bird to go in my field book was a Brown Pelican. I have travelled across California many times since then and still find new and exciting spots to visit and birds to see. The coastline has some of the most diverse ecosystems from desert to lush estuaries and from pelagic trips to mountains. Being on the Pacific flyway there are lots of migrants as well as rarities that come both north and south. Most of these habitats are only a couple hours apart making birding a real treat. I will outline the general areas from Santa Barbara south and the birds that you can find there.
The Coastal Mountains
The Deep Blue
The Parks and Rec
The Urban Connection
Southern California’s coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth and it just so happens to be an excellent birding destination too. The different ecosystems along this coast allow for a wide variety of birds even in the metropolitan areas. If you want to plan a trip that is immersed in civilization but allows for some amazingly beautiful escapes as well, the strip of shoreline along the Golden State is where you want to be.