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?
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was established in 1978, but the National Park Service did not own public parkland in the area until 1980. National Park Rangers devised clever ways to promote the national park goals without land by creating thriving partnerships with many agencies.