Our nature trail is open so come and enjoy a walk! For safe social distancing, please walk the trail in a clockwise direction.

Parts of the trail are flooded due to the lagoon backing up from the sand bar built up at the mouth of the lagoon. The City of Oceanside has jurisdiction over the sand bar; they remove the sand bar only when Coast Hwy is at risk of flooding.

While the flooded trail can be frustrating, it provides unique habitat for fish, frogs, crayfish, and birds. Walk quietly on the boardwalk and as you come around the corner, maybe you will see a great egret feasting on fish, crayfish wandering along the trail, hundreds of tiny fish swimming on the trail, and even catfish lurking at the edge of the pond!

Unfortunately, our programs and bird walks are still cancelled and our nature center remains closed.  BUT, thanks to Facebook, we can share some of the stories of the lagoon trail. Please see our virtual tours on Facebook and see some of the cool surprises on the trail and learn more about the fauna and flora who call the lagoon home.

OUR MISSION: Conservation Through Education, Advocacy, Land Management, and Monitoring

A San Diego County Chapter of the National Audubon Society

We are listening and learning.

"There's a quiet privilege to forgetting history. There’s also a sin in omitting it. We forge stronger ties to our public lands by knowing them from their inception." On Juneteenth, read writer and ecologist Dr. J. Drew Lanham's reflection on the steps we can take to make public lands an even more inclusive ideal.

Buena Vista Audubon Trail Guide

BVAS has a new self guided tour highlighting the plants found along our trail available in both English & Spanish!


Buena Vista Audubon Presents Kumeyaay Ethnobotany – Shared Heritage of the Californias with Michael Wilken-Robertson

Join Michael Wilken-Robertson for this digital lecture as he introduces us to our indigenous neighbors and the native plants that are so integral to their lives. Since 1980, Professor Wilken-Robertson has studied the Kumeyaay and their traditions, working closely with three generations of tribal elders. Much of Michael’s research is concentrated south of the international border where today, many Kumeyaay Indians live and still regularly practice the skills necessary to transform native plants into food, medicine, arts, tools, regalia, construction materials, and ceremonial items. Evening of Oct 21st. Members will receive more information directly. Recordings will also be available on the BVAS site following the presentation.

Did You Miss the September Program, or Want to Watch it Again?

 Dear Members and Guests,

 At our virtual general meeting on September 16, we were treated to a fantastic presentation on insects and spiders by naturalists Johnson Jou and Joy Inton.  For those of you unable to attend the full session or for those of you who want to see it a second time, just click the link below.


BVAS Art & Birdhouse Sale - Saturday Nov. 7th

Due to the pandemic, our Annual Bird House Auction was canceled. Consequently, there will be a sale of the donated bird houses and nature-themed art for set prices. This event will take place outdoors in the Nature Center parking lot. Please wear your mask and plan on social distancing for everyone’s safety.

Bring your holiday shopping list. You’re sure to find something for everyone!

Outside of the BVAS Nature Center
Saturday, Nov. 7, (and Dec. 5 if needed) 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Check out some of the items for sale on our Facebook or Instagram page.

BVAS Featured on Out & About with Channel 8 News

Channel 8’s OUT & ABOUT reporter Jenny Milkowski and camera person visited Buena Vista Lagoon recently to highlight birding around the lagoon. They interviewed Tom Troy and our executive director Natalie Shapiro.  As you may know, Tom is a long-time BVAS field trip leader and former board member.
Thank you Tom and Natalie for representing BVAS! To check out the segment you can either watch the segment here on our website or on the OUT & ABOUT page.

Buena Vista Lagoon Restoration Update

On May 22, 2020, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) approved a project for restoring the Buena Vista Lagoon in Oceanside, CA. This is a historic event, an almost 20-year effort in the making. The stakeholders ultimately agreed on a modified saltwater alternative, which keeps a portion of the lagoon (a small basin owned by the homeowners) intact as a freshwater system, with ocean saltwater bypassing this portion. The weir will be removed and the lagoon dredged and engineered to allow tidal flushing of ocean water. To read Buena Vista Audubon Society's statement on this significant moment please either read on the website here or download the PDF.


Channel 8’s OUT & ABOUT reporter and camera person visited Buena Vista Lagoon to highlight birding around the lagoon. They interviewed Tom Troy and our executive director Natalie Shapiro. As you may know, Tom is a long-time BVAS field trip leader and former board member.
Thank you Tom and Natalie for representing BVAS! The segment should air in a few weeks.

BVAS hopes that you will consider signing up at smile.amazon.com and designating Buena Vista Audubon as your favorite charity. It’s like Amazon.com in every way, except that a half percent of most purchases is donated to BVAS and its work. It may be just pennies, but a mountain of pennies really adds up.

THANK YOU - To all the hard work & effort of Steve Brad. This year his Birdathon fundraiser counted its way to raising $5,000. We extend our deepest-thanks and greatest-gratitude to Steve, as well as to all of those who donated. 100% of these donations go to support our programs and to keep the Nature Center up and running. Thanks Steve!


BVAS now accepts online donations & membership!

You can now become a BVAS member, or renew your membership, and support the Nature Center by giving on-the-go or from the conform of your home by visiting our new online payment portal: https://bvaudubon.org/donate/.

Interested in Birding?

BVAS offers seven monthly bird walks throughout the year and 5 pelagic bird trips during Spring and Fall migration. We host the Oceanside-Vista-Carlsbad Christmas Bird Count and our volunteer birders participate in the biannual Pacific Brown Pelican Survey.



Kids (ages 3-5) are invited to join us at the Nature Center for story time every 4th Monday of the month at 10am.


A scam is circulating among our emails. People are receiving an email request for gift cards. BEWARE! it is a scam. Please know that BVAS, board members, and volunteers will NEVER solicit appeals via personal emails or texts. This scam has this phishing address: offices@trnamasca.com. Some people receive an email with the subject: Pastel Artists of Hawaii with the return path of reference@trnamasca.com. Do not reply if your receive this email and do not click on any links in the messages! This is a phishing scam. Be wary of scams that are flooding our inboxes. 


Victory! Federal Judge Rules Administration’s Bird-Killing Policy is Illegal

A recent ruling by the US Disctrict Court has protected the Migratory Bird Treaty Act! Read more about it on the National Audubon's website

BVAS Supports the Saltwater Alternative 

Click here to read about why Buena Vista Audubon Society supports the Saltwater Alternative for Buena Vista Lagoon and why it is the best option!

Buena Vista Lagoon Restoration

Read about SANDAG's updated plan for Buena Vista Lagoon in this article from the Coast News.

Read more from the LA Times about California's forest thinning policy and whether or not it is actually effective. It is an in depth look at what all of the money California has spent has gone and what it has gotten us.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick and Georgetown Environment Initiative

Please consult the Calendar of Events and most recent Newsletter for additional walks, special birding events, and/or changes to the regular schedule

Leo Carrillo Bird Walk

1st Thursday of every month:

Walk and survey along the trails of the historic Leo Carrillo Ranch in Carlsbad.

Whalen Lake Bird Walk

1st Saturday of every month:

Walk and bird survey at this beautiful sanctuary for resident and migratory waterfowl in Oceanside.

El Corazon Garrison Creek Walk

2nd Wednesday of every month:

Walk and survey along El Corazon’s Garrison Creek Trail in Oceanside.

San Dieguito River Bird Walk

3rd Saturday of every month:

Walk and survey many waterfowl and shorebirds in North County’s coastal wetlands.

Coastal 101 Birding Loop

4th Saturday of every month:

Visit Maxton Brown Park, walk to the ocean and weir, and return to the BVAS Nature Center along Coast Highway in Oceanside. Great for beginners and experienced birders alike!

Steve's Surprise Walks

Join Steve Brad for this variable location bird walk. Where we go is based on recent reports and Steve’s personal surveying. Please contact Steve to be included on the email list for this walk.

Pelagic Birding:

Hosted by SD Pelagics, May 12th, June 9th, August 18th, Sept 22nd, Oct. 13th. For pricing and details see http://sandiegopelagics.com/

The Nature Center

Discover Buena Vista Lagoon's hidden treasures through our Nature Center's interpretive displays, highlighting our local flora, fauna, and habitats. Take a walk by the lagoon to explore the plant communities that comprise a coastal lagoon.

Educational Events

Learn about nature while having fun. Buena Vista Audubon offers free nature education programs and activities almost every week of the year.

Get Involved

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Buena Vista Audubon. Whatever your natural interests or talents, you can play an important role in helping people appreciate the beauty and importance of the natural world.

Make a Difference!

Did you know that the majority of our programs, including tours of our nature center, are free? We are able to offer free programs because of our dedicated volunteers and members, who understand and appreciate the importance that nature plays in our quality of life! As a BVAS member, you will receive the chapter newsletter, be invited to special events just for Members, and know that you are making a difference in the world. The BVAS Nature Center and its educational programs will receive 100% of your contribution.

Our Mission

Conservation Through Education, Advocacy, Land Management, and Monitoring

Mailing Address

Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049

Nature Center

2202 S. Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054



Sunday 1-4pm
Tuesday 10 am-4 pm
Wednesday 10 am-4 pm
Thursday 10 am-4 pm
Friday 10 am-4 pm
Saturday 10 am-4 pm

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