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

Activity

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

Davey's Locker Whale Watching & Sportsfishing
Valid: Jan 17 - 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...

Bars

Guest List Access

Side Bar
Valid: Jan 17, 2017 - ongoing

Mention SanDiego.org at the door for Guestlist entry!

Activity

$16 Gray Whale Watching Cruise Special

Newport Landing Whale Watching
Valid: Jan 17 - ongoing

The Gray Whale makes the most spectacular and longest mass migration of any marine mammal. Tens of thousands of gray whales migrate annually along the Newport Beach coastline from the summer feeding...

Events to check out

Event

Macy's Museum Month

San Diego Museum Council
Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2017

Arts, entertainment and culture collide for Macy’s Museum Month in San Diego. This February the San Diego Museum Council and Macy’s have teamed up again for Museum Month, giving patrons a...

Event

Best Coast Beer Fest Presented by Sycuan

Mar 11, 2017

Enjoy more than 200 beers from nearly 100 local breweries, grab a sensible lunch in our food truck alley and listen to the sweet sounds of local bands - all while taking in the gorgeous views of...

Event

San Diego Crew Classic

Apr 1 - Apr 2, 2017

Regarded as the first major regatta of the year, the San Diego Crew Classic brings together thousands of athletes from more than 100 universities, clubs and high school programs from across the United...

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 Deutschland Great Britain Japan Mexico Korea USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch 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