Black oystercatcher

California Bird Watching

Birding California

Quiz: Which of the 50 states boasts the longest checklist? Hint: It’s not Alaska or Texas, the two largest states. Answer: California, at 662 documented species. It also boasts several endemics and near-endemics. If you want to add tricolored blackbird or yellow-billed magpie to your life list, plan a trip to the Golden State. More than 530 species have been reported in San Diego County alone—that’s more than most states can claim! Hotspots are dense along the entire coast, including the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco, but also scattered across the state, from the Shasta/Cascade region in the north, through the Central Valley and the  High Sierras, to deserts of the Southeast. If you are in California, odds are high that there’s a birding hot spot not too far away that is likely to be golden.