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Birding in the Sunshine - Annual Events Not to Miss

By: Graham Ochoa

From hawks to herons to woodpeckers and warblers, with such a diverse array of bird species found throughout San Diego County, many organizations have taken the opportunity to hold bird watching events throughout the year. San Diego’s beautiful year-round sunshine and perfect warm temperatures has people “flocking” to the area to take part in these exciting events. From bird counts to week-long festivals, San Diego offers some of the most exciting bird watching events in the country.

Here are some of the biggest events happening throughout the year:

The San Diego Bird Festival

Arguably San Diego’s best, the annual San Diego Bird Festival has hundreds of birders coming together to enjoy classes, field trips, and lectures from special guest speakers. The festival takes birders to different regions within the county, allowing them to see the immensely diverse bird species in San Diego. For more information on this wonderful festival, go to www.sandiegoaudubon.org/events

International Migratory Bird Day

Celebrated every year on the second Saturday in May, this event focuses attention on the hundreds of unique bird species that migrate between nesting sites in North America and non-breeding grounds in the south. In San Diego, many migratory birds call the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park home. For more information, visit www.birdday.org

Annual Christmas Bird Counts

Sponsored by the Audubon Society, the counts are held over a two-week period in December and January. Grab your binoculars and bird guides as you experience the beauty of San Diego while also making a difference in the conservation of our beautiful environment. More information can be found at http://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count.

The Great Backyard Bird Count

An annual 4-day event in February where hundreds of birders, young and old, come together to track and count all of the unique bird species in the country. You don’t need a backyard to enjoy this wonderful event. All you need is a pair of binoculars and a passion for birding. Information on this exciting event can be found at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ and http://www.audubon.org/content/about-great-backyard-bird-count.

Annual Hawk Migration

October might be considered the beginning of Hawk season in San Diego. Each fall, thousands of hawks land in San Diego. A great place to see fall and winter hawks include the Ramona Grassland Preserve and adjacent Santa Maria Creek riparian habitat where large numbers of hawks spend the winter. The Preserve offers a four-mile loop trail that is open to the public where hikers and mountain bikers and observe these beautiful creatures. The San Diego Audubon Society generally hosts a grassland hike in October or November and the Wildlife Research Institute hosts free Hawk Watch gatherings usually on Saturdays in Jan. and Feb.   


More information about Bird Watching in San Diego >

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