Top Places To Birdwatch in California – Free & Paid Birding Destinations

October 8, 2021 // 31 minute read

Birding Locations » US » Birding In California

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California is one of the greatest states in America to visit or reside in if birdwatching happens to be a favorite hobby of yours. In fact, this state has documented viewing more than 660 bird species, which is greater than any other state in the US.

Not surprisingly, there are many diverse types of environments and habitats that make it perfect for all different kinds of birds in California. Plus, its humongous size and the amount of available space means it’s a great place for birds to go when migrating. Let’s not forget about the amazing coastal beaches, redwood forests, arid chaparral, inland marshes, and so much more.

Keep reading to find out more about the best free and paid bird-watching destinations in the Golden State. I’ll gladly share info about different social media websites, hiking trails, birdwatching clubs, birding tours, and so much more.

By the way, are you aware that the California Quail is California’s state bird?

california quail
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photo credit: Brett Sayles from pexels.com

Also, be sure to check out birding locations in states that neighbor California: Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona.

Bird Watching Destinations In California: Free Destinations

California residents and future visitors truly appreciate the exciting free destinations to visit while bird watching in this beautiful state. Some of the best locations have great hiking trails, wildlife preserves, refuges, and much more.

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge – Admittance Is Free

The wonderful thing about this national wildlife refuge is that it’s located at the border of California and Oregon. So, you’ll have easy access to this beautiful land and excellent wildlife viewing without much difficulty at all. And the best part is there have been more than 200 different bird species recorded in Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, so there are plenty of remarkable birds to look at any given time.

Location:

Dorris, CA 96023
Phone: 530-667-2231

GPS: 41.9487° N, 121.7112° W

Hours Of Operation:

The national wildlife refuge has various trails that are open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset. Birders particularly enjoy visiting this location during specific seasons when certain bird species are much more visible than others.

The refuge also has a visitor center located at Tule Lake. The center is open every day, seven days a week, from 9 AM to 4 PM. It’s also closed on three days during the year including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Popular Birds Found At This Destination:

  • California Towhee
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Rough-Legged Hawk
  • Ross’s Goose
  • Tricolored Blackbird
  • Tundra Swan
  • White-Faced Ibis
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Yellow-Headed Blackbird
  • Sage Thrasher
  • Golden Eagle

Hiking Trails:

This wildlife refuge is the first refuge for waterfowl of its kind, and it’s located in southern Oregon and northeastern California. Although there are numerous walking paths throughout this gorgeous location, I’ve only discovered the name and other important details about one particular trail that travels through the California and Oregon border.

The name of this trail and other important details are as follows:

  • Lower Klamath Basin Trail – this trail is perfect for intermediate and beginner hikers, although it isn’t the easiest in the world because it was rated with a moderate difficulty. Not only will you see beautiful wildflowers along the path, you’ll also discover many amazing birds along your travels. Feel free to bring your dog with you because canines are allowed on this 2.1 mile moderately difficult trail. And since it’s 2.1 miles in distance and moderately difficult, it should take everyday hikers around an hour to an hour and 10 minutes to complete this loop trail.

Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary – Free Hiking & Bird Watching

This stunning birding hotspot is located on the northern side of Humboldt Bay, and it’s a beautiful sanctuary situated right along the flight path of thousands of migratory birds that visit California during the winter. These birds also travel through South America, Central America, and Mexico as well.

The beautiful thing about visiting this location is it has one of the largest bird populations along the Washington coast and Bodega Harbor. So, you’re bound to discover your favorite birds amongst the 300+ bird species documented in the region.

Location:

569 S. G St.
Arcata, CA 95521
Phone: 707-826-2359

GPS: 40.8603° N, 124.0946° W

Hours Of Operation:

Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center – this center has free maps, a bookstore, checklists, recent bird sightings, and other literature. It’s open on weekends on Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM until 5 PM. Once the summer camping program comes to an end, the center will reopen on Monday through Friday as well.

Otherwise, the park itself and the hiking trails are open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, all year long.

Popular Birds Found At This Destination:

Hiking Trails:

Visitors are always excited to learn that there are 5 well-defined and easy-to-navigate hiking trails in the vicinity of Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Even better, these trails are well-maintained, clearly defined, and there isn’t a lot of foot traffic or crowding along any of these paths, which makes them particularly attractive to the people visiting or living in the area. 

The names and other important information regarding these hiking trails are as follows:

  • South Oxidation Pond Loop – this is a particularly exciting hiking trail because the path is very easy to navigate and the views are gorgeous. And there’s lots of birds along this hiking path as well. It’s an easy footpath to walk along, like the rest in the area, and it’s only 1.5 miles in total distance. The average person can finish this hiking trail in about 45 minutes or less, depending on how fast you walk.
  • Gearhart Marsh and Brackish Pond Loop – this is another fantastically simple hiking trail to walk along in Arcata Martian and Wildlife Sanctuary. The trail is beautiful and there are so many great bird species along the path that you’re bound to see some of your favorites. It’s 1.4 miles in total, which should take you about 35 minutes to finish from end to end.
  • Allen Marsh and Butcher Slough Log Pond Loop – this is also another fun filled and easy to navigate hiking trail that I know you’ll absolutely love. It’s relatively easy to walk along because it’s only 1.1 miles in total distance, which means it should only take about a half an hour for you to finish from one end of the loop to the other end.
  • Butcher Slough Log Pond – this is the shortest trail out of the five, so it’s only 0.7 miles in total length, taking you all around the pond. It should take the average person about 20 minutes to finish from beginning to end, and it’s also a well-maintained and easy to travel trail, so don’t expect much difficulty at all. And it’s perfect for beginners or people that do not walk in the wilderness too often.
  • Klopp Lake Trail – finally, the last trail that I’d like to bring to your attention is also a very easy trail because it’s 0.9 miles from start to finish. On average, it takes the typical person around 20-25 minutes to complete the full trail.

Point Reyes National Seashore – It’s Free to Enter

I am happy to tell you that one of the best birding destinations in North America is Point Reyes National Seashore. But what makes it so special?

First off, it has a wide array of land habitats that make it very attractive to rare vagrants and many diverse types of seabirds. Plus, the area is also filled with a wide array of land birds as well, so you can literally see more than 400 different bird species in the area.

Besides the plethora of different birds, the park is 111 mi.² long, and it provides a wide range of trails and many different birding opportunities for beginners and novices alike. You’ll undeniably run across some of your favorite types of birds whenever you visit this area, so it’s certainly going to be a special treat for you and your loved ones.

Location:

1 Bear Valley Rd.
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Phone: 415-464-5100

GPS: 38.0512° N, 122.8663° W

Hours Of Operation:

The great thing about this park is that it’s open all year round to visitors far and wide. You can go to the park as early as 6 AM, and you aren’t required to leave until 12 AM. There is only a six-hour window when you are not allowed in the park.

Popular Birds Found At This Destination:

  • Pacific Loon
  • White-Tailed Kite
  • Sooty Shearwater
  • Pigeon Guillemot
  • Brandt’s Cormorant
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • California Quail
  • Wrentit
  • Golden-Crowned Sparrow
  • Hutton’s Vireo
  • Black Oystercatcher

Hiking Trails:

Do you love hiking and bird watching together as the ultimate pastime? You’ll definitely love visiting Point Reyes National Seashore if this is the case.

As of now, there are currently 77 different documented trails that you can travel upon as you walk through this amazing seashore and view all of the wonderful birds and other wildlife. This will fill your heart with joy and you’ll certainly have plenty of trails to discover. You and your loved ones can go on a new adventure practically every day. 

Today, I’m going to share information about the top 10 hiking trails in Point Reyes National Seashore. I give my word that there is definitely something for everyone, whether you’re a novice, expert, or your brand-new to hiking and bird watching. 

The names of the hiking trails along with other valuable information are as follows:

  • Bear Valley Trail To Coastal Trail – this is a moderately difficult trail, so you may want to sit this one out if you’re relatively new to hiking because it’s also fairly long as well. The total distance of the trail is 10 miles long, so it should take the average person around four hours and 10 minutes to complete.
  • Laguna Trail To Coastal Trail Loop – this trail is definitely easier than the previous one mentioned, because it’s easy to navigate and the terrain is in great condition. It’s also a bit shorter at 6 miles long, which should take the average hiker around two hours and 45 minutes to complete. This is a good trail for people with stamina that are relatively new to hiking.
  • Chimney Rock Trail – it’s an easy to navigate and well-maintained trail, plus the total length is 1.9 miles, which isn’t very long at all compared to the other trails shared thus far. In total, it should take you around an hour to finish from beginning to end.
  • Sunset Beach Trail – this trail is moderately difficult and it has small hills and other obstacles in your path. It’s also longer at 7 ½ miles in total length, which should take the typical hiker around three hours and 40 minutes to complete.
  • Abbotts Lagoon Trail – definitely an easier trail that should be much less difficult than some of the moderately difficult trails shared today. It’s 3.6 miles in total length, which should only take you around an hour and 35 minutes to finish.
  • Alamere Falls and Wildcat Camp Via Bear Valley Trail – remember to wear your hiking shoes because this trail is hard and I’m not going to sugarcoat it at all. It’s 17.4 miles long and it has rocky terrain going along the majority of the total distance. In all, it will take around nine hours for an expert hiker to complete. If you’re brand-new to the activity, expect to take even longer to finish this trail.
  • Limantour Beach Trail – although it might be longer than you’d appreciate, it’s also a very easy trail to navigate and it doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic or other obstacles in your path. The total distance is 5.3 miles, which is certainly on the longer side, but since it’s an easier trail, it should only take around two hours and 10 minutes to complete.
  • Sky Camp Trail – this trail is moderately difficult because it has a bit of a rocky terrain, there is traffic along the path, and the trail itself isn’t always completely obvious unless you’re paying close attention. It’s also 9.4 miles from beginning to end, which makes it a difficult trail to walk along if you aren’t used to traveling by foot. It should take the average person around five hours to complete the total trail from start to finish.
  • Estero Trail – the last trail is definitely no joke because it’s the hardest trail that I’ve shared with you in the area. You have to take this seriously because the terrain is difficult and it’s a really long trail as well. So, remember to pack bottles of water and other important necessities because it’s 21.2 miles long, which means you’re going to spend a solid 10 hours and 10 minutes working hard to walk the entire length of this trail.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area – Free Bird Watching and Hiking

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll discover the Marin Headlands, which makes up a large portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This stunning location is filled with so many birds that it’s hard to keep track of them all. And there are a wide variety of trails for bird watchers and hikers of every skill level. Visit this wonderful place soon if you’re looking for an amazing spot near San Francisco to view a wide array of your favorite birds.

Location:

Mailing Address
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-561-4700

Hours Of Operation:

The national park itself is open 24 hours a day and it remains open every day of the year, even on holidays. Please note that the parking lot of this urban park is only open between sunrise to sunset, so you will need to find other parking accommodations if you come to the park after hours.

Popular Birds Found At This Destination:

  • Chestnut Backed Chickadee
  • Western Scrub-Jay
  • Common Murre
  • Broad-Winged Hawk
  • Osprey
  • Golden-Crowned Sparrow
  • Merlin
  • Northern Harrier
  • White-Tailed Kite
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • American Kestrel
  • Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Hiking Trails:

Similar to my previous entry, I am ecstatic to tell you that Golden Gate National Recreation Area is literally filled with so many hiking trails that it’s hard to keep track of them all. In fact, there are 101 trails for you to travel along as you view the amazing birds in the region.

Because there are so many different trails to choose from, I’m only going to share my top 10 favorites with you today. I’ll make sure that I tell you about the beginner, intermediate, and expert trails that have easy, moderate, and hard difficulty levels. This way you’ll have zero difficulties finding the perfect trail for you and your loved ones.

With that said, my top 10 hiking trails in the Golden Gate National Recreation area are as follows:

  • Land’s End Trail via Sutro Baths and Coastal Trail – I decided to start this off with an easy one that just about anybody – even people with minor mobility issues – should have no trouble walking from one end to the other. The total trail is 0.8 miles in length and it’s easy to navigate and even easier to travel upon because they do a good job of maintaining the trail. In total, it should only take around 20 minutes to complete.
  • Sweeney Ridge Trail via Mori Ridge – this hiking trail is certainly more advanced because many of the people who’ve traveled upon it say that it is moderately difficult. It’s a clearly defined trail that has somewhat heavy foot traffic and uneven terrain and other obstacles in your path. It’s also relatively long at 4.6 miles in total distance. So, expect to spend some time traveling along this trail, which should take around two hours and 35 minutes to complete.
  • Muir Beach to Rodeo Beach – continuing with my favorite trails, this one might not be for the faint of heart since it’s a tough trail and it’s considered one with a very hard difficulty. In fact, you’ll come across rocky terrain and uneven paths along the way. It’s also long and will take some time because it’s 11.7 miles in total length. All in all, it should take you around six hours and 45 minutes to complete this trail from beginning to end.
  • Sweeney Ridge – although this trail is a bit longer than the other easy trail that I shared, it’s also clearly defined, not heavily trafficked, very even and well-maintained, and definitely easy to walk upon for beginner hikers. The total length of the trail is 4.8 miles, which should take the average person about two hours and 25 minutes to complete from start to finish.
  • Pirates Cove via Tennessee Valley Trail – this trail is moderately difficult because you’re going to walk along mountainous regions with many jutting rock formations in your path. But it’s also relatively clearly defined and easy enough to walk along as well. In total, the entire distance of this trail is 4.6 miles from beginning to end. The average hiker should take roughly 2 hours and 35 minutes to complete this path.
  • Rodeo Valley Trail to Miwok Trail Loop via Coastal Trail – there is no denying that this trail is hard to walk along for a variety of reasons. First, there’s a lot of fog in the region so visibility isn’t always perfect, which might detract from birdwatching as well. The terrain is difficult at times because it has rocky outcroppings and gravelly paths that you’ll need to walk across. It’s also long at 11.6 miles from beginning to end. But if you do decide to travel along this path, it’ll take around five hours and 45 minutes to finish.
  • Point Bonita Lighthouse – this beautiful trail is easy to navigate and it takes you right along the water near the stunning Point Bonita Lighthouse. Not only that, but it’s also a great place to view many varieties of shorebirds. All in all, the total length of this trail is only 1 mile, which should take the average walker around 30 minutes to travel from one end to the other.
  • Tennessee Valley to Muir Beach via Coastal Trail – this moderately difficult trail is always a great choice for hikers and bird watchers looking to spend the bulk of their day out on the trails. It’s overgrown in some places, the terrain is a bit rocky in other places, and it isn’t always the easiest to navigate. It’s also somewhat on the longer side because it’s 8.2 miles from beginning to end. In total, the average hiker should be able to complete the full trail in roughly 4 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Sweeney Ridge, Milagro Ridge, and Mori Point Loop – here’s another trail that is very difficult to walk along because the terrain is rocky, there’s lots of overgrown foliage in your path, and you’re also going to walk through a mountainous region as well. Even more important to note is the distance, which is 13.9 miles in total. This long and rough terrain should take the average hiker around 7 ½ hours to finish from beginning to end.
  • Coastal and Julian Trail Loop – finishing off my top 10 list, I’d like to tell you about this easy trail that shouldn’t cause much of a challenge or struggle for beginning hikers. It’s 3.3 miles from start to finish, and it should take the average person about one hour and 50 minutes to complete the entirety of the trail.

San Gabriel Mountains Angeles National Forest – Free Admittance

These beautiful mountains are splendid and they’re the perfect location for local residents and travelers looking to enjoy an exciting bird-watching experience east of Pasadena. The mountains ascend 2000 feet at the lowest point and 7000 feet at their highest peak. As you climb along the highway, you’re going to come across many different types of birdlife and outdoor terrain, which makes this a wonderful place for birdwatching.

Location:

Angeles National Forest
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006
Phone: 747-322-6574 or 626-574-1613

GPS: 34.3168° N, 118.0058° W

Hours Of Operation:

The national forest is open to the public 24 hours a day. And it’s even open on national holidays, so you can visit just about any time you want. But you’d be much better off beginning your birdwatching trip anywhere between sunrise and sunset because this will provide the clearest visibility to see your favorite birds in the wild.

Popular Birds Found At This Destination:

  • Olive-Sided Flycatcher
  • California Towhee
  • Acorn Woodpecker
  • Band-Tailed Pigeon
  • Mountain Quail
  • Steller’s Jay
  • Hermit Warbler
  • Lawrence’s Goldfinch
  • Western Tanager
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Clark’s Nutcracker
  • William’s Sapsucker

Hiking Trails:

Like many other parts of California, the Angeles National Forest is filled with a plethora of hiking trails for your enjoyment and amusement. In fact, there are 275 hiking trails in this forest and mountainous region.

My top 10 favorite hiking trails in the area include:

  • San Antonio Falls Trail – this easy hiking trail is located right in the heart of the national forest. It takes you directly to a beautiful waterfall and the path to get there is easy to navigate. It’s 1.4 miles in total length, which should take the average person around 45 minutes to complete.
  • Mt. Baldy Notch via Bentley’s Dream – this trail is moderately difficult, but the views are gorgeous so it’s definitely worth the hassle in my opinion. All in all, the trail is 5.9 miles long, which should take around three hours and 25 minutes to complete.
  • Bailey Canyon Trail to Jones Peak – this is definitely considered a harder trail because the path is uneven, it isn’t necessarily that clear, and the terrain gets rocky at times as well. It’s also 6.1 miles long, so it should take around 3 ½ hours to finish.
  • Brown Mountain Dam Waterfall – this is an easy and straightforward trail, even though it’s definitely on the longer side at 8.4 miles. But it’s a trail worth walking along because you definitely want to check out the waterfall because it’s absolutely stunning. All in all, it should take around three hours and 50 minutes to complete the full trail.
  • Stoddard Peak – this trail is definitely more treacherous since it’s considered moderately difficult. It’s 5.9 miles long, and should take around three hours and 10 minutes from start to finish.
  • Mount Wilson via Little Santa Anita Canyon – this trail is undeniably hard because it’s really long and it’s going to take you a really long time to finish. In fact, this rocky and mountainous trail is 14.5 miles long. On average, it will take roughly 8 hours to complete.
  • Big Dalton Dam Trail – this fun and easy trail will take you along a wooden boardwalk and the scenery is absolutely amazing as well. It’s only 2.6 miles long, which should take you roughly one hour and 15 minutes to finish from end to end.
  • Blue Ridge Trail – the terrain here is definitely rockier and more difficult to navigate on this moderately tough trail. It’s also four miles long, which the average hiker will take around two hours and 20 minutes to complete.
  • Mount Disappointment and San Gabriel Peak – maybe the name says it all, because this difficult terrain will lead you to Mount Disappointment, which is anything but since the scenery is beautiful. But it’s a tough terrain that lasts for 4.4 miles, which takes around two hours and 50 minutes to finish.
  • Little Jimmy Campground – this is easy terrain with a clearly defined trail that you’ll have no trouble navigating whatsoever. All in all, it’s 4.1 miles, which is only going to take around two hours and 15 minutes to complete.

Bird Watching Destinations In California: Paid Destinations

Yosemite National Park – Paid Admission at Varying Levels

This gorgeous piece of American history was first deemed land worthy of being protected back in 1864. It has stunning waterfalls, 1200 mi.² of pristine valleys, meadows, and wilderness, and viewing the giant Sequoia trees are some of the most majestic sights you’ll ever behold.

Birdwatchers also love this iconic national park because it’s one of the best places to visit to see their favorite birds in California. The high elevation coniferous forests make it the perfect location for bird habitats.

Location:

Mailing Address:
Public Information Office
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
Phone: 209-372-0200

GPS: 37.8651° N, 119.5383° W

Hours Of Operation:

The wonderful thing about visiting Yosemite National Park is that it’s open 24 hours a day. And even better, it’s also open 365 days per year, so you never have to worry about the park being closed if you decide to show up on a whim one day.

Popular Birds Found At This Destination:

Park Entrance Fees:

There are a number of different fees and ways to enter into Yosemite National Park. The fee schedule breakdown is as follows:

  • Horse, bicycle, foot, non-commercial van or bus with 15 passenger seats or more – $20
  • Motorcycle – $30
  • Non-commercial passenger van, RV, pickup truck, or car with 15 or fewer seats – $35
  • Commercial tour sedan with six seats – $25 and $15 per person
  • Commercial tour van 7-15 seats – $125
  • Commercial tour minibus 16-25 seats – $200
  • Commercial tour motor coach 26 or more seats – $300

And the annual passes are as follows:

  • Yosemite Annual Pass – $70
  • America the Beautiful Pass – $80
  • Senior Pass – $80
  • Disabilities Access Pass – $0
  • US Military Annual Pass – $0

Hiking Trails:

Yosemite National Park is a beautiful place filled with 264 of the best hiking trails, running trails, and birdwatching trails you’ll ever come across. Because these trails are so numerous, I’m going to curate my list and share my top 10 favorites with you below.

My 10 favorite Yosemite National Park hiking trails include:

  • Lower Yosemite Falls Trail – this stunning trail is kept in great shape so it’s very easy to travel upon and navigate. Even better, it’s relatively short since it’s only 1.2 miles in complete length. On average, the typical person should take 30 minutes to finish the trail in its entirety.
  • Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail – this trail is definitely on the more difficult side since it’s considered moderately difficult. It’s also a lot longer than the previous trail, since the total length is 6.1 miles. On average, the typical person takes around two hours and 25 minutes to finish this trail.
  • Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail – you’ll think this is an amazing trail if you love hiking, but it’s also the hardest trail that I’ve told you about so far. It’s 5.4 miles long, but the terrain is rocky, uneven, and it clearly isn’t the simplest path to navigate either. In total, it should take an expert hiker around three hours and 40 minutes to walk the entirety of this trail.
  • Tenaya Lake Trail – this is definitely one of my favorite trails because it’s easy, you get to travel along a crystal-clear lake which is stunningly beautiful, and the path is clearly defined so it isn’t very difficult. It’s a bit long for some at 3.4 miles, but if you’re willing to put in the time and work it should only take around an hour and a half to finish.
  • Wapama Falls Trail – this trail is definitely more difficult because many previous hikers say it was moderately tough to handle. Personally, I think the view is stunning so it’s definitely worth traveling along this trail. But it’s a bit long at 4.6 miles, which should take you around 2 ½ hours to finish, so keep that in mind. And at one point along the trail, you’ll come across a rickety looking wooden bridge that’s certainly a fun treat for the whole family. Don’t worry because it’s safe!
  • Yosemite Point – I don’t want to scare you but this trail is hard to handle. I wouldn’t say that it’s treacherous, but it’s definitely difficult. You’re going to walk along rocky and mountainous paths that are uneven, overgrown, and tougher to navigate. Plus, the trail is 8.5 miles long, which will take five hours and 55 minutes to complete.
  • Mirror Lake from Shuttle Stop 17 – I always like to add some of the easier trails to my top 10 lists, and this one is no different. The views are amazing, the path is simple to navigate and well maintained, and it’s only 2.3 miles long. It should take a regular person without much hiking experience about an hour to travel along this trail from one end to the other.
  • Inspiration Point Trail – I like this trail because it’s moderately challenging, which certainly makes it more fun for those looking for an adventure. But it isn’t too long since it’s only 2.3 miles from end to end. Since the terrain is a bit rough, I estimate that it will take around one hour and 40 minutes to complete the trail.
  • Ten Lakes Trail – this is certainly one of the harder trails that I’ve shared with you today because it’s long and it takes a long time to complete. But it’s also a gorgeous trail that you’re absolutely going to love if you enjoy spending time birdwatching out in the wilderness. There is rocky terrain and water along the path which makes it a bit difficult, and it’s really long at 12.4 miles. But if you’re willing to tackle this task, it should take you around seven hours to complete.
  • Grizzly Giant Loop Trail – last but certainly not least, this fun filled trail is easy to navigate and the trail is well-maintained so it’s easy to walk upon. It’s only 2 miles long, which will take you about an hour and five minutes to walk along from one end to the other.

California Birdwatching Clubs

The best part about living in the state of California is that it’s more than just a beautiful place to visit. It’s also an incredible place to go if you’re absolutely head over heels in love with bird watching and other birding-related activities. You’ll appreciate living in this beautiful state or visiting here because there are many like-minded birders taking the helm of various bird-watching clubs that you can join.

Even better, you’re going to love spending time with other birders in your California hometown and surrounding area. Why? Because it’s such a fun and happy activity, but it’s even better to share it with other people who appreciate birds just as much as you do.

You have the opportunity to become a member of an exciting birding club and birdwatching community. I’ll share information about my favorite clubs with you below, so you can join the appropriate one in your community.

Kern Audubon Society

Bird lovers living in Bakersfield, California are in for an amazing treat if they’re looking to join a club of like-minded individuals in their community. The Kern Audubon Society was originally founded all the way back in 1973, and it became officially incorporated in 1979.

Why join this chapter of the Audubon Society? This organization is thriving, it’s a whole lot of fun, and they provide great education and exciting events and activities. You’ll go on regular field trips, go to monthly meetings, and even visit unique birding habitats located throughout California.

Every month, they hold their monthly meeting on the first Tuesday at 7 PM. Join them at the KCSOS building located at 1300 17th Street in Bakersfield.

Contact Info:

To find the names and phone numbers of board members and other officers, please visit the Kern Audubon Society contact page here.

Address:
1300 17th Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Past and Future Events:

  • Bird Outing to Golden Hills Nature Park – this event originally took place on Saturday, March 20, 2021 between 9 AM to 11 AM. It was held at Golden Hills Nature Park in Tehachapi, California and it was hosted by Greg Hargleroad. At this event, the group went through the local park and experienced a fun filled morning of birdwatching for two hours.
  • Outing to Panorama Vista Preserve – this event took place on Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 9 AM to 11 AM. The preserve is located right in Bakersfield, CA and the event was hosted by Bob and Wendy Hodash. On this trip, members had a chance to see a wide variety of different birds and beautiful planted trees. It was definitely a joyous event for everyone.
  • Outing to Kern River Preserve in Weldon – this event took place on Saturday, May 1 between 7 AM and 8 AM. On this quick trip, group attendees were joined by event organizer Allison Sheehy for an opportunity to watch birds early in the morning in this gorgeous preserve. It was truly a sight to behold.

Membership Fees:

If you’re looking for camaraderie and companionship, or to connect with a group of people that also love birding and all things birdwatching-related, then you need to sign up to become a member of the Kern Audubon Society.

They make it easy to sign up and provide new members with two ways to join. You can either sign up via mail, by checking out the membership form here, printing it out, filling it out, and then sending it in to the following address with a check made payable to Kern Audubon Society.

The address is as follows:

Kern Audubon
PO Box 3581
Bakersfield, CA 93385

Or, to make your life a little bit easier, you can click this link and fill out the online form and pay for your membership right on the web.

Membership levels are as follows:

  • Individual Membership – $20
  • Family Membership – $35
  • Student Membership – $15
  • Benefactor Membership – $100
  • Condor Lifetime Membership – $1000

That’s all there is to it. If you love birding and birdwatching and live in Bakersfield, you’ll benefit from joining the Kern Audubon Society.

Sea & Sage Audubon Society

The mission of the Sea & Sage Audubon Society is to do its part to provide education, citizen science, protection, advocacy, research, and more to protect the natural habitats of birds and other wildlife in the Orange County region.

Contact Info:

Mailing Address
Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447
Irvine, CA 92616
Phone: 949-261-7963

Past and Future Events:

  • Monthly Nature Walk at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary – this exciting upcoming trip is happening on Saturday, September 4, 2021 from 9 AM to 10:30 AM. On this trip, you’ll have an opportunity to see all of the beautiful wildlife, the gorgeous plants, and the amazing birds that live and migrate to the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s truly going to be an exciting event.
  • Upper Newport Bay Bird Walk – this incredible event is happening on Sunday, September 26, 2021 and it’s taking place between 8 AM and 11 AM. The event is being hosted by Mark Kincheloe, who regularly takes a group of birdwatchers here for monthly bird walks. On this trip, you’ll see many beautiful birds including egrets, herons, grebes, ducks, and shorebirds. Remember to bring your binoculars!
  • Bolsa Chica Bird Walk – this upcoming event is happening on Thursday, September 16 from 8 AM to 12 PM. The event is held at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, where group leader Vic Leipzig will take a small crowd of excited birders along for a great morning of viewing a wide array of bird species including summer migrants, residential birds, and more.

Membership Fees:

It’s easy to join the Sea & Sage Audubon Society. You can either join online, by visiting this page here, filling out the online form and paying by credit card or debit card.

Or if you prefer doing things the old-fashioned way, you can sign up via snail mail by mailing in your form to the following address. Please make sure the check is made payable to the National Audubon Society for $20. And fill out and mail in this form as well.

The mailing address is as follows:

Membership, Sea & Sage Audubon
PO Box 5447
Irvine, CA 92616

If you need to renew your membership, please visit this page and follow the on-screen instructions to pay via bank account, credit or debit card, or PayPal.

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