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The Channel Islands support a rich variety of birds, distinct in many ways from the birds of the adjacent mainland. The islands offer protected habitat in an increasingly disturbed southern California environment.
Viewing Seabirds and Shorebirds
While some seabird species may be viewed from the islands, park boat concessioners will search for seabirds on boat trips out to the islands. Be sure to tell a boat crew member that you are interested in seabirds and they will often assist in finding and identifying birds. In addition, local chapters of the Audubon Society occasionally sponsor boats trips around the islands to view seabirds. Due to limited beach access on some islands, shorebird viewing is best done on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Islands.
The larger islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa offer more types of habitats and, therefore, more variety of landbirds. Many birders visit Prisoners Harbor (easiest viewing opportunity) or Scorpion Ranch on Santa Cruz Island to view the island scrub-jay.
Last updated: September 6, 2019