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Monthly Birding Hotspot


October, 2021: Balboa Park

The jewel of San Diego's park system, Balboa Park needs no introduction, but did you know that it is also a birding hot spot? Check out the variety of gardens to spot wonderful landscaping, and you might even see a Western Wood-Pewee or Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Photo by Craig Chaddock.

Bird Together, While Apart

Each month, we will highlight a birding location in San Diego County, and ask our supporters to get out there (safely, while following social distancing protocols) and record as many species as they can using eBird. Many of these locations are in areas where we are actively carrying out restoration work or have other conservation concerns that we are tracking. By recording bird sightings in these areas, you are helping us gather more information about the species that frequent these areas. Students in the San Diego City College Audubon Campus Chapter will also use these data points in their research projects.

Getting Started with eBird

  1. You will need an active eBird account - sign up here.
  2. There are two ways to record birds in the field - eBird Mobile or via the website.
  3. Create a personal list in the hotspot location using the instructions above, and then share to "SDASBirdingHotspot."

See below for step-by-step instructions:

Need more help? Take the eBird Essentials course for free here, and check out this short video with a step-by-step guide on how to report your bird sightings on eBird, in English, Spanish and now in Mandarin.

Spread the word!

Submit your photos to our staff at, and use the hashtags #SDAudubon and #BirdingHotspot on your social media posts. You can also tag our Instagram page.

Past Birding Hotspots

  • September, 2021: Manzanita Canyon
    • Birders explored Manzanita Canyon in City Heights. If you start at the trailhead, you'll walk right past our first┬ánative seed library, built and stocked with free native seeds six months ago. Birders spotted a Nuttall's Woodpecker, CA Scrub-Jays, Bewick's Wrens and more.
  • August, 2021: Tijuana Rivermouth
    • Birders took in the variety of sea and shorebirds at the Tijuana River Mouth, where the Tijuana River lets out into the sea. The area is adjacent to numerous wildlife refuges, with the potential to spot migratory CA Least Terns or resident Western Snowy Plovers.
  • July, 2021: Swiss Park
    • Birders checked out Swiss Park in the Otay Valley Regional Park, which also fell along the route of our "Bird y Bike" event in celebration of Latino Conservation Week.
  • June, 2021: Ramona Grasslands
    • Several birders checked out the Wildflower Loop in the Ramona Grasslands, an important area for a number of predatory birds including the declining Golden Eagle. Twenty-two birds were seen, including the American Kestrel, Turkey Vulture and both the Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawk, but alas, no Golden Eagles.
  • May, 2021: San Diego River
    • Volunteers participated in the San Diego River Park Foundation's River Days event and helped to collect information about how shore and seabirds interact with dogs and people along the river channel. A total of six lists were submitted, with 53 species seen including Black Skimmers, Marbled Godwits, and Red-Necked Phalaropes. Each of these species relies on the river to feed and rest, and many have migrated thousands of miles in between their nesting and wintering grounds.
  • April, 2021: Lake Hodges
    • Lake Hodges is an important nesting area for Clark's and Western Grebes, who often rush over the water. We are working to advocate for these nesting birds, who have been impacted by shifting water levels. A total of 6 checklists were submitted by volunteers, with 68 species reported. This includes Bald Eagle, American Avocet, Cactus Wren and White-faced Ibis.
  • March, 2021: Otay Valley Regional Park
    • We are working to restore habitat and support monarch butterflies, birds and other pollinators in this regional park. A total of 9 checklists were submitted by volunteers, with 42 species reported. This included Bufflehead, Hermit Thrush, California Towhee and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.
  • February, 2021: Northeast corner of Mission Bay
    • In celebration of Love Your Wetlands, supporters birded nearby the Kendall-Frost Marsh and the northeast portion of the Bay. A total of 13 checklists were submitted by volunteers, with 89 species reported. This included Black Skimmer, White-tailed Kite, Chestnut-Collared Longspur, Cinnamon Teal and Peregrine Falcon.


  • San Diego Foundation
    San Diego Foundation
  • USFWS logo
  • County of San Diego
    County of San Diego
  • State Coastal Conservancy
  • SANDAg transnet logo
    SANDAg transnet logo
  • Coastkeeper
  • UCNRS logo
  • Malk Nature Fund
  • Logo for Union Bank