Last Updated on August 28, 2021 by Guillermina
Are you a fellow birdwatcher living on the West Coast? Here are the 8 Most Common Birds in Southern California to look out for!
Birdwatching is a distinguished form of activity that has been around since the late 1800s. Nonetheless, birding is an acquired taste to many. Still, you can’t deny that observing avifauna varieties isn’t an attractive way to pass the time.
If you’re based on the West Coast, then we’ve got a seminal avian lineup that’ll appeal to your refined tastes. Our article lists pertinent details of eight of the most common birds in southern Cali to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
So, grab a comfy seat and have your pens at the ready – because we’re about to help you ace any birding events in the SoCal region.
Table of Contents
8 Most Common Birds in Southern California
Don’t be disheartened when you hear some of the birds on the following list being termed backyard birds of Southern California. Besides, bird enthusiasts will tell you that the number of species observed counts in a birdwatching contest – not just the rarity!
If you’re a true nature lover at heart, the varieties we’ve compiled for you will have a definite appeal. Plus, there are a species or two in our that are pretty rare for these waters, so to say.
So, let’s get on without wasting any more time!
1. Oak Titmouse
An oak titmouse (aka Baeolophus inornatus) may not be the most vivid bird out there, but it’s pretty unique in its own right. It’s a small gray bird with brownish hues and has a small tuft. Additionally, both the males and females of this species look exactly alike.
What makes the oak titmice stand out is their scratchy call, described as a series of whistled notes.
The species is native to the area ranging from southern Oregon to California, and it prefers forests with oak-pine or dry oak trees. The species like roosting in thick foliage or birdhouses.
The oak titmouse likes to dine in on insects like spiders, but they’re also partial to eating berries, seeds, or even acorns.
2. White-breasted Nuthatch
Counted among the small birds in southern California, the white-breasted nuthatch appears as a stocky little songbird. It has a white face, chest, and sides with blue-grayish hues on its upper body. Surprisingly enough, its lower belly is a medium reddish-brown.
These nuthatches also possess short tails, large heads, and a pretty powerful bill. However, you can tell the males apart from the females quite easily. Male white-breasted nuthatches have a black crown, whereas their female counterparts have a grayish-blue crown.
The birds are commonly found in deciduous forests. But they’re used to the presence of humans, so don’t be surprised when you spot one in parks or near birdfeeders.
Their diet consists mainly of seeds, but they can also chow down on nuts and acorns.
3. Black Phoebe (Southern California Native Birds)
The Black Pheobe is one of the birds native to southern California. It’s sparrow-shaped and is predominantly black with a white belly, making it look like it’s dressed to the nines.
This species can be found in various habitats – but generally, they live close to water. Another fun fact, black phoebes build an open cup-like nest with mud – mostly under cliffs or other high places. Their diet consists mainly of insects.
4. American Goldfinch
If you’re on the lookout for colorful plumage – you can’t do much better than the American Goldfinch. This species displays strong sexual dichromatism – with the females changing shades from brown to bright yellow during the summer. On the other hand, the males are a vivid yellow in the summers and dull green during the winters.
Goldfinches like nesting in open fields near weeds, but you can also find them in woodland edges and suburban areas. Their diet ranges between consuming seeds, insects, buds, maple sap, and young twig bark.
5. Allen’s Hummingbird
No birdwatching list can be complete without the presence of a hummingbird. That’s why we’re adding Allen’s Hummingbird to our list for SoCal residents.
These little guys (or gals) are a delight to watch as they zip around from flower to flower. You can identify Allen’s Hummingbirds thanks to their stocky little bodies and bright green and orange-copper feathers. Another notable feature is their bill which is almost the same size as their little heads.
You can tell the males of the species apart from the females by looking for a greenish-bronze hue above their coppery flanks – which only the females and younglings sport.
6. Yellow-Throated Warbler
Another gem among the common birds of Southern California is the Yellow-throated Warbler. These birds aren’t native to the California region but show up every now and then because of migration. That makes spotting a Warbler even more of a treat for the birdwatchers of Cali.
Yellow-throated Warblers have a gray upper body, with a tiny dark-colored triangle near their eyes. However, it’s the bright yellow plumes around their throats that make them stand out.
You can even try attracting them to your backyard by setting up landscaping with trees, shrubs, and of course, a birdfeeder.
7. Red-Crowned Parrot
Red-crowned Amazons can be a feast for the eyes, with their bright green overall color and a striking patch of red on top of their heads. Their tails are a wonderful combination of green paling into yellow tips. Then there are the pale gray feet that complete the look.
The good news is, these birds are seen in abundance in areas like the O.C and the San Gabriel Valley – meaning Southern California residents can spot one flying over the horizon quite easily.
Common Birds In Southern California – The Wrap Up
There you go, folks. We’ve kept true to our word and rounded up some excellent candidates for your birdwatching events. Hopefully, by now, you’re in a better place to be able to identify any of these beauties through visuals alone. So, grab your binoculars, video cams, and other essentials, and get to birdwatching as soon as you can. We’ll be back next time with more bird facts that appeal to our avian-friendly readers!