From mountainous backcountry and semi-desert scrub, to
coastal wetlands and rocky coastline, Santa Barbara County
boasts a rich diversity of birdlife throughout. Positioned
along the Pacific Flyway, a large number of land and seabirds
migrate through this part of North America each spring and
fall. Common western birds can be found in offshore waters and
in local mountains, while seasonal rarities may be seen at many of the coastal migrant traps. In
addition, endemic birds unique to this part of the continent
are found here.
This Birder's Guide generally follows the four mainland "Districts" published in Paul Lehman's, "The Birds of Santa
Barbara County, California" (UCSB, 1994). These
districts align with the geographic topography of Santa
Barbara County and include the coastal plain
(separated North and South in this online guide), interior
lowlands, mountains, and the Cuyama Valley. The only addition
here is a page on pelagic birding and the Channel Islands.
This guide will take you to many of the better birding
sites known to local birders. It is complete with directions,
map links, and contains a short list of some of the
endemic and more
unusual birds that have been found at each site. Google
map links are included on each page and can be zoomed in for
detail or out to locate alternate routes. Be
sure to click "Back" to return to the Guide pages.
View a county map with all sites
HERE. US 101 and
exit numbers are typically listed as a point of origin when
directions are given to specific sites. These pages follow a
north to south, west to east layout.
There are many more places to explore within the county.
Places yet to be discovered. You can contribute to this guide
by providing information about other great birding sites.
Corrections are appreciated.