Anacapa Island
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Bird watching sites in Southern California

Anacapa Island
A western seagull patrols her nesting area on Anacapa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, which is also home to cormorants, auklets, murrelets and California brown pelicans.

The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park
1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, 93001
(805) 658-5730
 (Los Angeles Times)
Audubon Center at Ernest Debs Park
Visitors to the Audubon Center at Ernest Debs Park near Montecito Heights can view meadowlarks, sparrows, pipits, warblers, goldfinches, hawks and kites, among many others.

4700 N. Griffin Ave.
Los Angeles, 90031
(323) 221-2255
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
 (Los Angeles Times)
Angeles National Forest
About 31% of visitors to the Angeles National Forest go there to view wildlife, including species like this red-winged blackbird, according to the U.S. Forestry Service.

701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, 91006
(626) 574-1613
 (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Upper Newport Bay
Rare ospreys nest in a telephone poll on Shellmaker Island on Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach.

2301 University Drive
Newport Beach, 92660
(949) 923-2290 or (949) 923-2295
 (Los Angeles Times)
El Dorado Park Nature Center
An egret is among hundreds of bird species that populate the El Dorado Park Nature Center in Long Beach.

7550 E. Spring St., Long Beach, 90815
(562) 570-1745
Lake Balboa
A heron keeps a close eye on a visitor to Lake Balboa in the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin near Van Nuys. Birds here include ducks, Egyptian geese and cormorants.

6300 Balboa Blvd.
Van Nuys, 91406
(818) 756-9743
 (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Colorful hummingbirds entertain tourists and bird-watchers alike at Mission San Juan Capistrano in Orange County.

26801 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, 92675
(949) 234-1300
 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Ballona Wetlands
More than 200 species of marine bird species at Ballona Wetlands near Marina del Rey include this beautiful great blue heron.

Lincoln Boulevard and West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90094
 (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Aliso Beach
A tourist relaxes among the seabirds at Aliso Beach in Orange County.

31131 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, 92652
(949) 923-2280 or (949) 923-2283
 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
William R. Mason Regional Park
A rare Nutting’s flycatcher, more commonly found in Mexico, perches in William R. Mason Regional Park in Irvine. Other species at one of America’s most well-known birding sites include hawks, towhees, roadrunnners and warblers.

18712 University Drive
Irvine, 92612-2601
(949) 923-2220 or (949) 923-2223
 (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Wildlife photographers at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve near Huntington Beach have an unobstructed view of more than 300 bird species, including pintails, western grebes, godwits and sandpipers, egrets, white pelicans -- and the occasional peregrine falcon -- from the footbridge over Inner Bolsa Bay.

Bolsa Chica Conservancy
3842 Warner Ave.
Huntington Beach, 92649-4263
(714) 846-1114
 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Salton Sea
One of Southern California‘s premier birding sites, the Salton Sea in Imperial and Riverside counties boasts a wealth of bird life, including these avocets.

Salton Sea Authority
78-401 Highway 111
La Quinta, 92253
 (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Ormond Beach, Ventura County
Visitors to Ormond Beach in Ventura County are treated to a wealth of seabirds and wildlife, including this black-necked stilt.

Hueneme Road and Perkins Road
Port Hueneme, 93041
 (Los Angeles Times)
Compton Creek
A great blue heron swoops low over Compton Creek, near the 710 Freeway in Long Beach. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Whittier Narrows Nature Area
Bird-watchers often cluster around the portion of the San Gabriel River that flows through Whittier Narrows Nature Area, hoping to catch a glimpse of the waterfowl and migratory birds that populate some 400 acres of wetlands.

1000 N. Durfee Ave.
South El Monte, 91733
(626) 575-5523 (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Hollywood hawk
Bird-watching in Hollywood? A red-tailed hawk lands on a pine tree near Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.

Western Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, 90029
 (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Irvine Regional Park
Two Audubon Society members prepare for the traditional Christmas bird count at Irvine Regional Park. Bird species here include woodpeckers, cormorants, herons, egrets and peacocks.

1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, 92869
(714) 973-6835 or (714) 973-3173
 (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Leo Carrillo State Park
An inviting treasure-trove of tide pools, offshore reefs and canyon streams is a perfect environment for bird-watching at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu.

35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, 90265
(818) 880-0363
 (Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles River
An ibis forages for food in the Los Angeles River near Long Beach. The river and the 225-acre Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve that drains into it also are occasional resting spots for migratory birds. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Los Cerritos Wetlands
A California brown pelican takes flight over Los Cerritos wetlands. A stopoff on the Pacific Flyway in Long Beach and Seal Beach, the wetlands also boast great blue herons, snowy egrets, American avocets and western sandpipers.

E. 2nd St. and Shopkeeper, Long Beach, 90803 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Pasadena’s Lower Arroyo Park
Enthusiasts in Pasadena‘s Lower Arroyo Park can watch more than 180 species of birds, including kildeers, California quails, mockingbirds and yellow warblers.

177 S. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
 (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Lower Trestles, San Onofre
Take in the surf and the wide variety of seabirds at Lower Trestles at San Onofre State Beach.

San Onofre State Beach
Oceanside, 92058
(949) 492-4872
 (Los Angeles Times)
Point Dume State Beach
A climber watches a California brown pelican at Malibu’s Point Dume.

Westward Beach Rd, Malibu, 90265
(805) 488-1827 or (818) 880-0363
 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Prado Dam, Yorba Linda
Some 460 acres of land that surround the Prado Dam in Yorba Linda have been turned into wetlands that support a variety of bird life, including this egret.

16700 S. Euclid Ave., Chino, 91708
(909) 597-4260
 (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
San Dieguito Lagoon
An enthusiast looks for birds in the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar, whose bird population includes egrets, ducks, terns and birds of prey.

San Dieguito Lagoon, Del Mar, 92014
 (Los Angeles Times)
San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve
An arts program has contributed a bird-watching “hub” at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve in Encinitas in San Diego County.

2710 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, 92007
(760) 634-3026
 (Los Angeles Times)
Malibu Lagoon / Surfrider Beach
Cormorants are common at Malibu Lagoon State Beach (a.k.a. Surfrider Beach), where more than 270 recorded bird species, including assorted waterfowl, quail, grebes and waders, can also be found.

23000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265
(310) 456-8030
 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Seal Beach Naval Station
A 1- to 2-week-old California least tern is held by a birding expert at Seal Beach Naval Station. The endangered birds are protected here by an electric fence (check with the Audubon Society, which runs frequent trips). Los Cerritos Wetlands are also nearby.

800 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach, 90740
 (Los Angeles Times)
Sespe Condor Sanctuary
A California condor takes to the skies at the Sespe Condor Sanctuary, near the southern edge of Los Padres National Forest in Ojai. The sanctuary is closed to the public, but check local news updates for times when its condors may be released into the wild.

Sespe Condor Sanctuary, Fillmore, 93015
 (Los Angeles Times)
Doheny State Beach
Visitors to Doheny State Park in Dana Point can view herring gulls, Thayer’s gulls and rock wrens.

25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 92629
 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Madrona Marsh Preserve & Nature Center
Bird spotters at Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance take part in the Audubon Society’s annual bird census. Seasonal visitors to the marsh, which lies on the Pacific Flyway, include Say’s phoebes, common snipes and cliff swallows.

3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, 90503
(310) 782-3989
 (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Forrestal Nature Preserve
The sage brush at the Forrestal Nature Preserve on the Palos Verdes peninsula hosts many bird species, including the endangered gnatcatcher.

32201 Forrestal Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275
 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
San Joaquin Sanctuary, Irvine
A red-tailed hawk greets visitors to San Joaquin Sanctuary in Irvine. Other raptors that have been recorded at the site include golden eagles, peregrine falcons, ospreys, kites, harriers and owls.

5 Riparian View, Irvine, 92612
(949) 261-7963
 (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)
Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks
An egret walks through tall grass at the Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks. More than 70 species of birds can be seen here.

928 W. Avenida de los Arboles, Thousand Oaks
(805) 495-2163 (Los Angeles Times)
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