arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Best Bird Watching in Imperial Beach

Home to 370 species of birds

Imperial Beach is described as the one of the best places to watch birds in coastal Southern California.

During spring and fall migration, Imperial Beach plays host to thousands of shorebirds, waterfowl and neotropical birds traveling along the Pacific Flyway stopping to forage on the beach and in protected wetlands.

Among the best bird watching areas along coastal Southern California, Imperial Beach is home to 370 species of birds.

In addition to spring and fall migrations, summer brings a rare combination of colonial nesting seabirds, like Black Skimmers and Gull-billed Terns, to the South Bay, while migratory songbirds nest within the adjacent river valleys. Even the winter months provide opportunities for observing wintering waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. Resident species such as the endangered Light-footed Clapper Rail, and a number of shorebirds, wading birds and songbirds can be observed throughout the year.

Coastal vegetation is best viewed in the winter and spring when indigenous plants such as beach evening primrose and red sand verbena cover the dune habitat with color and deerweed, sage, lemonadeberry and sumac fill native plant gardens and the natural upland habitats with the scents of spring. If you are really lucky, you may come across a stand of rare salt marsh bird’s beak.

Where to Watch

  • Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
  • Living Coast Discovery Center
  • Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge
  • Seacoast Drive, 301 Caspian Way, Southern End
  • Tijuana River Valley Regional Park
  • Dairy Mart Pond Ecological Reserve
  • Imperial Beach Pier
  • San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge (7th Street, 8th Street, and 13th Street, Northern End and Biological Study Area)

 


 

Before starting your bird watching adventure, check out our printable brochure with a map of the bird watching locations.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Boating & Sailing

Kids Ride Free with Flagship Cruises & Events

Flagship Cruises & Events
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2020

Choose San Diego's Truly Local Cruise & Events Fleet! Set sail with a San Diego original. Our family business, Flagship Cruises & Events, has been serving and entertaining San Diego since...

Tours & Sightseeing

Kids Ride Free on the San Diego Seal Tours

SEAL Tours - Sea and Land Adventures
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2020

Ready to see the best of San Diego on sea and land? Your 90-minute, fully narrated SEAL Tour departs from Seaport Village or the Embarcadero. Wind your way through picturesque San Diego streets...

Tours & Sightseeing

Kids Ride Free on the Old Town Trolley Tours

Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego Inc
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2020

Enjoy "America’s Finest City" on a two-hour, fully narrated, historic city tour of San Diego and Coronado aboard a uniquely themed trolley. The tour covers approximately 25 miles and over 100...

Events to check out

Event

Supergirl Surf Pro

Aug 14 - Aug 16, 2020

The world’s top professional female surfers are back in Oceanside, CA for the 13th Supergirl Surf Pro, a 3-day event August 14-16, 2020. The weekend will be jam-packed with world-class...

Event

Bike the Bay

Aug 23, 2020

Experience Bike the Bay, a scenic bayside ride, and also enjoy a rare opportunity to ride over the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

Event

USA Ultimate National Championships

Oct 22 - Oct 25, 2020

The USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate in North America and crowns champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s. 

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish