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Birding Suggestions
updated: Aug 13, 2014, 8:30 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I have friends coming into town from New York who are avid (but amateur) birders and i'm wondering if my Edhat community can give me some tips as to the best birding spots here in Santa Barbara. I've already ruled out Chick-Fil-A and El Pollo Loco.


Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 544324P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 08:41 PM

Devereux Slough for one place


 COMMENT 544331P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 09:14 PM

The beach (Goleta? Santa Claus?), Carpinteria Salt Marsh, Lake Los Carneros, Tucker's Grove Park and trails, Lake Cachuma. (whispering: condors at the zoo)


 ANIMALLISTNER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 09:44 PM

The Santa Ynez River under the Refugio bridge.


 COMMENT 544337P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 09:56 PM

Lake Los Carneros is awesome for all kinds of birds...


 COMMENT 544339P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 09:59 PM

Nojoqui Park, Alisal Road, to the bridge over the Santa Ynez River. Park and walk down to the river, and walk along the paths. There are probably Band-tailed Pigeons, Wild Turkeys, lots of Acorn Woodpeckers at least, and lots more, along that route.


 COMMENT 544340P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 10:03 PM

Descriptions of places here:




 COMMENT 544344P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 10:56 PM

The Bird Refuge?


 COMMENT 544348P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-13 11:45 PM

Right now anywhere there's fresh water would be a good bet for seeing a great many "land" birds. Be sure and go out early morning or towards dusk. Birds are more active then.

To see shorebirds and ducks and gulls your best bet is probably the Laguna outlet, just east of Sterns Wharf. I don't think there are any Black Skimmers this time of the year (a personal favorite of mine).


 COMMENT 544360 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 06:59 AM

Day trip to Santa Cruz Island for the endemic island jay.
Sea birds en route.


 SMARTYPANTS agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 07:14 AM

Oso Flaco Lake is great in the spring and fall for migratory birds.


 COMMENT 544369 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 07:34 AM

Go up Figeuroa Mountain Road above Los Olivos. Within 5 miles you will no doubt see Yellow-billed Magples, CA endemics. Also, I have seen Golden Eagle(s) frequently, though I have not been up there for 2 months.


 COMMENT 544376P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 07:52 AM

Boat trip at Lake Cachuma is great fun, and all of the guides I've had have been excellent birders, i.e. perfect for people who are learning.


 COMMENT 544394P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 08:12 AM

Original poster here - thanks so much for the great suggestions! I knew that I could count on Edhatters!


 COMMENT 544406 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 08:35 AM

Botanic Gardens...check out the flora too.


 COMMENT 544434P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 09:40 AM

was just at Loa Alamos park, tucked behind the elementary school, and the white oaks were alive with acorn woodpeckers and magpies. Also saw and heard a pretty busy Orange Crowned Warbler. II rec a drive from 101 at the Peace Farm (organic veggies) up the back road to Nojoqui Park and down to Solvang as very birdy, and a gorgeous pastoral drive. Few Mc Mansions in sight.


 COMMENT 544439P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 09:59 AM

Wes Fritz is a nationally- known bird tour leader, lives in Santa Ynez, if they'd like a personally tailored trip for local West Coast target birds. You might also check the San Luis Obispo-Morro Bay area for shore birds. slocobirding@yahoogroups.com
will list recent findings. The Wild Birds Unlimited store in SLO has very knowledgeable staff (Doug Stinson)regarding areas, and timely birds to see.


 COMMENT 544465 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 10:50 AM

Devereux Slough sometimes has lots of birds, and other times very few, as it goes through various cycles of water depth. It fills with rain (when we get it), and then empties when storms break the sand berm at the beach.. A couple years back it was teaming with herons, egrets, cormorants, sandpipers, greater yellowlegs, kingfishers, ducks, and briefly a swan. Then -- almost nothing. Any idea where they all went?


 COMMENT 544504P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 12:28 PM

The local Yahoo birding group for Santa Barbara County is:


First message about Nojoqui Falls - Lawrence's Goldfinch on grass edge across street from ranger residence. Purple Martins present too.

Btw, if you continue along Alisal Road from Nojoqui Falls to Solvang, magpies will be seen as well.


 COMMENT 544543 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 01:50 PM

on my back deck from time to time, except the cat doesn't always leave them in 1 piece.


 ACF agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-14 08:45 PM

There are black skimmers at East Beach and black turnstones at Leadbetter (sp?) beach. I was just there last week.


 COMMENT 544726 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 07:00 AM

Raptors collect in Coldsprings Canyon because it is an updraft area. Not anything sinister 634.


 COMMENT 545238P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 06:59 PM

Santa Barbara Audbon Societyhas birding every other Friday, as well as field trips to birding sites. If your friends are interested in raptors, bring them to the Natural History Museum between 2 and 4PM to see the live raptors (owls, hawks, falcons) up close and out of the aviary.

Check out the Audubon website at www.sbaudubon.org.


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