Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument are well-known in the birding community as some of the premiere bird watching spots in San Diego. The bird checklist for both the monument and Point Loma peninsula lists 346 species, with over 270 spotted at Cabrillo National Monument alone.
A stop on the Pacific Flyway, migrant species use the peninsula as a resting place or when lost or disoriented. Raptors use Point Loma as a landmark during the peak of their migrations, and some, like the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), make their home here year-round. The rocky shoreline on Point Loma’s western side is the only place in San Diego where Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani) are regulars, and Brandt’s Cormorants (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) roost in large numbers on Point Loma’s cliffs.
Birds have unique beaks/bills, body shape, wings, tails, field marks, and behavior. To learn more about these physical characteristics, use the Cabrillo Birding Guide.
Did you know that songbird species (most birds that sing) have their own unique song? This fact makes identifying birds by sound one of the best methods to differentiate species. Even birds that do not sing may have other distinguishable or unique vocalizations that can reveal their species to an observer. Use the list of common Cabrillo birds below to hear each species in action.