Santa Cruz offers many opportunities for birdwatching.

Here are some top birdwatching locations in Santa Cruz:

  1. Natural Bridges State Beach: This beach is a great spot for bird watching and is home to a variety of seabirds, including the western gull, black oystercatcher, and brown pelican.
  2. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve: This reserve is a great spot for bird watching and is home to over 340 species of birds, including the endangered snowy plover and the California clapper rail.
  3. Wilder Ranch State Park: This park is a great spot for bird watching and is home to a variety of species such as the Anna’s hummingbird, the acorn woodpecker, and the California towhee.

Birdwatching Groups

Elkhorn Slough Foundation

Box 267, Moss Landing, CA 95039  (831) 728-5939

Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of San Francisco Bay. This ecological treasure at the center of the Monterey Bay coastline provides much-needed habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including more than 340 species of birds.

Docent-led tours of the Reserve are held every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is also an early birding walk the first Saturday of every month at 8:30 a.m.

Santa Cruz Bird Club

The Club sponsors birding walks in and around Santa Cruz County.  For a very detailed list of the best birding locations, please review the Club’s Guide to Birding in Santa Cruz County, California.
Organizations and Articles of Interest:

||   Protecting the Snowy Plover – New Rules and Regulations

||   Sequoia Audubon Society – Environmental Education and Conservation