Norcal Birding


Throughout the San Francisco Bay Area region and Beyond

California is the richest state in the United States for bird diversity, with over 650 species documented in the state. This represents over 66% of all bird species found in North America. Approximately 450 species utilize California for breeding, wintering or migration. California is in the heart of the Pacific Flyway, a major migration route for birds as they move between their breeding and non-breeding grounds and vice-versa. The vast mosaic of unique habitats created by the topography, geology and geography of the state gives rise to this incredible biodiversity. The state also creates many unique sub-species and populations that are different from the rest of the country. As a result, California holds the most Bird Important Areas in the country with 175 recognized. What birder would not want to explore this unique state? Let's plan your excursion today!  

Specialty and Endemic Birds in the Region

forest species

Mountain Quail
California Quail
Band-tailed Pigeon
Anna's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
California Condor
White-tailed Kite
Spotted Owl
Acorn Woodpecker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Lewis's Woodpecker
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Hutton's Vireo
California Scrub-Jay
Yellow-billed Magpie
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
Pacific Wren
California Thrasher
Hermit Warbler
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Bell's Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Hooded Oriole

open habitat species

Black Swift
Vaux's Swift
Cassin's Kingbird
Tricolored Blackbird

pelagic or coastal species

Black Oystercatcher
Pacific Golden-Plover
Wandering Tattler
Black Turnstone
Pigeon Guillemont
Marbled Murrelet
Scripp's Murrelet
Ancient Murrelet
Cassin's Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet
Heermann's Gull
Western Gull
Elegant Tern
Pacific Loon
Black-footed Albatross
Buller's Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater
Black Storm-Petrel
Ashy Storm-Petrel
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant

wetland species

Ridgway's Rail
Mew Gull
California Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull


Possible Target Species of Local Rarities

Brant (winter)
Redhead (winter)
Mountain Quail (year around)
California Condor (year around)
Bald Eagle (year around)
Broad-winged Hawk (fall migration, Sep-Oct)
Swainson's Hawk (spring, summer)
Ferruginous Hawk (winter)
Ridgway's Rail (year around)
Snowy Plover (year around)
Mountain Plover (winter)
Least Tern (summer)
Burrowing Owl (year around)
Long-eared Owl (year around)
Black-chinned Hummingbird (spring, summer)
Lewis's Woodpecker (year around)
Pileated Woodpecker (year around)
Purple Martin (spring, summer)
Rock Wren (year around)
Canyon Wren (year around)
Mountain Bluebird (winter)
Varied Thrush (winter)
Sage Thrasher (year around)
Phainopepla (year around)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (spring, summer)
Hermit Warbler (spring, summer)
Western Tanager (spring, summer)
Rufous-crowned Sparrow (winter)
Black-chinned Sparrow (spring, summer)
Bell's Sparrow (year around)
Grasshopper Sparrow (spring, summer)
Tricolored Blackbird (year around)
Red Crossbill (fall, winter, spring)
Lawerence's Goldfinch (year around)