Male Anna's Hummingbird by John Emerson
From oak woodlands to grassland savannas to the coastal shore, the many diverse habitats of the Santa Monica Mountains support a wide variety of resident and migrating birds. More than 380 species - nearly half the North American total - can be seen year-round including shorebirds, songbirds, woodpeckers, and raptors. At Malibu Lagoon alone, more than 250 species have been recorded. Of all the species found in the recreation area, about one-third reside and breed here.
Migration is an especially amazing time, when literally millions of birds pass through or settle in for the season. Large populations come and go, following the food sources that suit their breed along the Pacific Flyway. The region's Mediterranean weather make the mountains and coastline the perfect place for seasonal stopovers.
Download a bird checklist here.
Birders (or birdwatchers) also flock to the Santa Monica Mountains in search of our many specialties and vagrants.
Five Audubon chapters have regular walks at public parklands in the mountains and seashore - see the listings here for local contacts.
Did You Know?
A study that began in 2002 reveals a lion and his offspring are surviving in the Santa Monica Mountains. Radio collars track them crossing roads and navigating through open spaces. Their future is uncertain, but with conservation efforts, they may continue to make these mountains their home.