Birding Resources

Resources for both new and experienced birders!

San Diego Avian Records, Bird Atlas, and Checklists

San Diego County Avian Records 2002-2023 (latest update through December 2023)

Paul Lehman, Guy McCaskie, and Philip Unitt.

The report includes avian records and other information from late 2002- December 2023, and earlier records of interest not found in, or data-corrected from, Unitt (2004) & Unitt (1984; The Birds of San Diego County).

The San Diego Museum of Natural History's San Diego Bird Atlas is based on the work of over 400 volunteer observers. It is also available through Google Earth.San Diego County Bird Atlas image

The Birds of San Diego County from the San Diego County Bird Atlas
by Phil Unitt contains a list of the birds observed in San Diego County, with descriptions for each. The Nat image

San Diego County Bird Checklist contains most of the birds you are likely to see in this area.

Calliope Hummingbird Ash Canyon Arizona 2011 08 20-1.CR2

The Buena Vista Lagoon Bird Checklist contains most of the birds you are likely to see in our lagoon, along with the time of year they are likely to be observed.

Green Heron San Dieguito horse ranch 2010 01 28 (1 of 1).CR2

San Diego Field Ornithologists is a non-profit organization that promotes the advancement of birding through educational programs, publication of information, and the encouragement of record keeping.

San Diego Region Birding is the official Rare Bird Alert (RBA) and birding discussion group for the San Diego region run by San Diego Field Ornithologists. View the latest posts on rarities.

Birding Basics

One of the best ways to start birding is to join a bird walk; the experienced birders will help you learn.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds: Building Skills: The 4 Keys to Bird Identification" is helpful for approaches to beginning birding.

Also from Cornell LoO: Currently offering a free course "Be a Better Birder" to help you learn bird identification through expert tips and interactive quizzes.

Also try  "Finding Your Wings-A Workbook for Beginning Bird Watchers," by Burton Guttman, or Sibley's "Birding Basics."

HomeAdvisor's Beginner's Guide to Bird Watching contains much information for all ages and is a great resource.

Guide to Bird-Watching from your Window contains lots of helpful info, from choosing binoculars to when & where to bird-watch.

Every now and then we receive a recommendation for a bird watching website. Thank you Jake (and Jessica), for thinking of us and sharing this website for young birders, specifically for birding at home: 

Do I want 8 x 42 or 10 x 42 binoculars?

This website has excellent information on how to choose the right pair of binoculars: "Audubon: How To Choose Your Binoculars" 

Birding Oside Beach 2

Project Wildlife- what to do if you find a baby bird.

I found a baby bird! What do I do? This fun and helpful cartoon by Rosemary Mosco,, can help you know what to do to help a young bird. You  can  also  contact Project  Wildlife: (619) 299-7012, or find them on the web:

Bird Identification Resources

Stop by our gift shop to peruse through our birding books and guides; these are all recommended by our birding experts.  We carry books by Sibley, Peterson, Kaufman, and National Geographic. We also have a laminated pocket guide to San Diego County birds.

A great website for bird identification is the Cornell University website; here, you can search for a particular bird.

Sibley Guide to Birds 2nd edition

Donations that make a difference!

Your donation will help us further our mission of providing nature-based education to local children, offering birding classes and other programs, protecting and restoring North County wildlife habitats, and more!

Our Mission

To protect and preserve our region's birds, biodiversity, and threatened habitats, and to promote conservation of our natural resources through advocacy, education, and both habitat restoration and management.

Mailing Address

Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049

Nature Center

2202 S. Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054



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