Central Coast Birds

Monterey County is one of the most important sites for bird life in North America and is one of the top 5 destinations in North America to bird watch. Over 480 different species of birds have been sighted in Monterey County thanks to strong resident bird communities, huge migratory bird traffic, ocean upwelling, microclimates and preserved habitats. Monterey County has one of the highest single-day bird counts in the country.  






Our Favorite Bird Watching Spots


The Museum Bird Collection

The Museum showcases one of the most extensive bird collections on display on the West Coast. Use the Museum's bird collection of 291 bird species and 409 life mounted birds to identify the birds you’ve seen throughout Monterey County. Witness the size of a mighty California Condor, the Yellow-billed Magpie, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and the Tri-colored Blackbird, to name a few.

For more on local birds, look here.


Bird Apps We Love

  • Merlin Bird Identification; Cornell Ornithology Labs
    What was that bird? Enter basic information such as the color, place you saw it, and what was the bird doing and this app helps you identify the bird. This free app is ideal for everyone. Curious explorers who want to enhance their outdoor experiences will especially love this easy interface. No bird expertise is needed to fully engage.
  • E-Bird; Cornell Ornithology Labs
    We recommend this free app to the committed and more advanced naturalist. E-bird benefits from your knowledge and you'll benefit from E-birds vast database providing you with what bird was seen where, and when. Wikipedia describes e-bird as "an online database of bird observations providing scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with real-time data about bird distribution and abundance."


The Monterey Audubon Society

A Chapter of the National Audubon Society since 1943, the Monterey Audubon Society assists the Museum with subject matter expertise supporting exhibits, programs, and supporting public questions regarding birds. Enjoy one their free monthly member meetings at the Museum the second Tuesday of each month.


Upcoming Bird-Related Events

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

September 23-25th, 2016

Designed for both seasoned and beginning birders, as well as outdoor lovers, the festival offers a unique opportunity to explore, learn, and appreciate world-class habitats such as the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Elkhorn Slough National Marine Estuary, and Pinnacles National Monument. Specially designed field trips will take participants to Big Sur to see California condors. Join a pelagic trip to witness one of the world’s most productive regions for albatrosses, shearwaters, storm-petrels and more. Jump into a kayak and get closer to nature or take a scenic ride at Elkhorn Slough Safari. All field trips are led by top-quality, friendly leaders. Online sales are now under way for each birding event offered a la carte, so you’re able to mix and match outings according to your personal interests. Go to   http://montereybaybirding.org/ for more information and to register.