Bird Watching at Point Reyes
Point Reyes National Seashore offers some of the finest birdwatching in the United States. More than 70,000 acres of habitat harbor an incredible variety of bird life. Nearly 490 avian species have been observed in the park and on adjacent waters.
The park's coastal location and its wealth of unspoiled habitats, estuaries, grasslands, coastal scrub and forest all attract many migrating and wintering birds. The projection of the peninsula some 10 miles seaward from the "mainland" makes Point Reyes National Seashore a landing spot for many vagrants—birds that may have made errors in navigation and thus are unexpected in this area.
All of these factors account for the Point Reyes area consistently reporting one of the highest tallies in the nation every year during the Christmas Bird Count.
Visit our Birds page to learn more about Snowy Plovers and Northern Spotted Owls.
Download the Birds of Point Reyes National Seashore species list (205 KB PDF, Adobe® Acrobat Reader® required).
Where to Birdwatch
There are many great places to view birds within the park* and the following are some of the best:
FIVE BROOKS POND
LIGHTHOUSE ROCKS AND CLIFF AREAS
On the heels of a 2018 NPS-National Audubon Society study of potential climate change-driven shifts in bird species distributions, Audubon has launched a new community science program—Climate Watch—to test the science and monitor for expected changes. Climate Watch surveys take place in the winter (January 15–February 15) and in the summer breeding season (May 15–June 15). Learn more...
* Please note: employee housing as well as park administrative, maintenance, operations, and storage facilities, including, but not limited, to access roads, outbuildings, grounds, and docks, are closed to public use.
Last updated: June 3, 2018