"I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits..."                       - John James Audubon

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                                                                                                                                              Royal Tern - Jamie Chavez

Santa Barbara County Birder's Guide

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.



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