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

Whale Watching

$13 Whale Watching Cruise Special During Migration (Save $23)

Davey's Locker Whale Watching & Sportsfishing
Valid: Jan 28 - ongoing

Enjoy 2.5 hour whale watching cruises with multiple times daily to choose from. Departing from Newport Beach view gray whales on their migration along with finback whales, minke whales, humpback...

Team Building

$10 off each Passenger on Helicopter Tour

Corporate Helicopters of San Diego
Valid: Aug 24, 2018 - ongoing

Take a Helicopter Tour over San Diego once you depart from your cruise ship! This spectacular flight will allow you to see San Diego in 30-minutes, 42-minutes or an hour when it would normally take...

Team Building

Save 20% off Private Tours for 4 or more guests

San Diego Urban Adventures
Valid: Aug 9, 2018 - ongoing

Have the Best. Day. Ever with a local guide on a private tour for your group. Whether you want to explore Old Town, Balboa Park or Coronado, these tours are perfect for solo travellers, couples,...

Events to check out

Event

Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2019

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay...

Event

2019 Annual Over The Line Tourney

Jul 13 - Jul 14, 2019

San Diego's beach softball Over the Line Tournament is played by men and women into their 80's and is one of the last pure Southern California traditions.

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 18 - Jul 21, 2019

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related...

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