Specialty Birds

Brown Pelican & Friend
Photo credit: Stan Dillard, LPAS
The Brown Pelican is the Symbol of the 
Central Coast Birding Trail


The trail has many specialty species which might make a trip to this area worthwhile.  Birds listed here are limited to the Pacific Rim and can all be found in the trail areas. Among them, the Island Scrub-Jay is endemic to Santa Cruz Island. While the range of the Yellow-billed Magpie extends east into California's Central Valley, there is no better place to find it than at numerous sites between Santa Barbara and Monterey counties. The endangered California Condor has been reintroduced into the wild and can usually be found within its historic coastal range in Central California. 

You may also wish to take a pelagic trip with one of several guides to see the pelagic specialties to be found in our off-shore waters, since the California central coast is a perfect place to locate many pelagic species. Several carriers and pelagic trip outfitters offer regular trips from each of the four central coast counties, which you will find listed on the Pelagic Birding page.   Of special interest are the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara that harbor many unique species.


Click on any of these bird names to view a picture, learn where to find the bird, and explore some links to web information about the trail specialty.

Mountain Quail
California Quail
Pacific Loon
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
California Condor [reintroduced]
White-tailed Kite 
Pacific Golden Plover
Black Oystercatcher 
Wandering Tattler
Black Turnstone
Heermann's Gull
Mew Gull
Thayer's Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Elegant Tern
Pigeon Guillemot
Spotted Owl [uncommon]
Anna's Hummingbird
 Costa's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Acorn Woodpecker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
White-headed Woodpecker
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Cassin's Kingbird
Hutton's Vireo
Island Scrub Jay [Santa Cruz Island]
Yellow-billed Magpie
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Oak Titmouse
California Thrasher
Hermit Warbler
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow 
Tricolored Blackbird
Hooded Oriole



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Most recently updated: 30 June 2004 .