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Common Native Birds of Southern California

California is a superb birdwatching location. We have such wide diversity in habitat from the open ocean to the desert and moutaintops...and everything in between. That diverse habitat means we have the perfect habitat for one of the widest selections of birds on the North American continent.

Watching birds can be as simple as watching a single bird's behaviors as it eats, practices safety, or raises a family. Birdwatching can become a challenging hobby by keepng up with all the latest technolgical gadgets for viewing, spotting, photographing or tagging. Birdwatching can be a backyard hobby in which you feed birds seeds, live worms and fruit, or it can be as simple as putting out a birdbath. You can be a landlord who provides cavity or shelf nests to compensate for the ongoing loss of habitat and nesting sites, or you can plant native and prolific food sources for hummingbirds or butterflies (and their caterpillars, which are a major food source for birds).

Birdwatching starts with interest. You can then pursue your interests in many can migrate with the birds! is a starting list of birds to show you the breadth of beauty that awaits you at our Southern California backyards, parks and beaches

Click here to find images of Southern California Birds using Google.


American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret T
Snowy Egret
Northern Pintail
Greater Yellowlegs
California Gull
Sand Pipers

Birds of Prey

Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon

Doves, Owls, Parrots, Nightjars

Band-tailed Pigeon
Spotted Dove
Mourning Dove
Rock Dove (Commonly known as Pigeons)
Common Poorwill
Barn Owl
Flammulated Owl
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Short-eared Owl
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet
Mitred Parakeet

Swifts, Hummingbirds, Kingfishers

Vaux's’ Swift
White-throated Swift
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher


Downy Woodpecker
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Acorn Woodpecker
Red-breasted Sapsucker


Olive-sided Flycatcher
Say’s Phoebe
Black Phoebe
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Western Wood-Pewee
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Cassin’s Kingbird

Shrikes and Vireos

Loggerhead Shrike
Cassin’s Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Hutton’s Vireo

Jays and Crows

Western Scrub-Jay American Crow
Common Raven

Swallows and Larks

Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Horned Lark

Wrentit, Bushtit, Parids and Wrens

Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Mountain Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Winter Wren
Bewick’s Wren
House Wren
Rock Wren

Thrushes, etc.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Western Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush
Northern Mockingbird
California Thrasher
American Pipit
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing


Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Hermit Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler
Palm Warbler
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson’s Warbler

Tanagers and Buntings

Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee


California has many native sparrows -- don't confuse them with the invasive English Sparrow!
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco

Blackbirds and Finches

Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Hooded Oriole
Bullock’s Oriole
Western Meadowlark
Purple Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch


Native birds are facing a decline of habitat, as well as a warming climate that messes up the seasonality of naturally occurring food such as caterpillars and seeds at just the right time for fledglings.


What can you do that will increase native habitat for the native birds in your community?


What WILL you do today to move toward your goal? Even one small action today makes a difference. And you can add a little tomorrow and the next day... Together we will restore our environment in our community and around the world.

For more articles about California Nature

Attracting California birds with native plants
Least Terns Preserve on the LA Beach
Common Native Plants of Southern California Uplands
Common Native Wildlife of Southern California
Los Angeles Urban Forest
Los Angeles Area Nature Link List
There's a Park Near You in Los Angeles
Natural Los Angeles Resources
California Beach Communities
News about the SoCal Environment
Visiting California Beach Communities - An Overview
California Beach Communities