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

$5 off Whale Watching Cruises

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Jun 13, 2019 - ongoing

$5 off Whale & Dolphin Watching with Hornblower Cruises. Hornblower offers large comfortable Whale Watching boats with live narration from San Diego Natural History Museum's trained naturalists...

Tours & Sightseeing

$5 Off Any Sunset Dinner Cruise

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Jun 13, 2019 - ongoing

Sunset Dinner Cruises are a deliciously different dining experience, sailing nightly on San Diego Bay. Enjoy a 3-hour cruise, with 3-course dinner, chilled glass of champagne, with entertainment and...

Team Building

$20 Off 4 Tickets on a Mother's Day Tour

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: May 1 - May 31, 2020

BOOK A WINE TOUR by May 31st and receive $20 off 4 tickets when you enter "FHNC3YQV" at checkout.  Singles and couples: Enjoy $5 off each ticket! Give the Mom in your life the gift of...

Events to check out

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 23 - Jul 26, 2020

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...

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

2020 Annual Over The Line Tournament

Jul 11 - Jul 19, 2020

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all players, beach-goers, and sports enthusiasts to the biggest summer event in San Diego!

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