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Photo by Tom Grey

Birding Resources

| Birding Coyote Valley | Birding San JoseBirding Santa Clara County | County Birding Challenges | Cumulative Year Lists | Field Notes |


Birding is for everyone. Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society offers many activities and opportunities for you to learn about our local birds and how to protect them. We offer birding programs suited to every level of birding - whether you are new to birding and want to find out how to get started, an intermediate birder looking to hone your skills, or you are an expert birder looking to share your experiences - we have something for you.


Conservation Learn what YOU can do at home to help your local bird population. 

Programs Check out all our educational programs for people of all ages!

Classes Learn about birds in one of our adult classes for all levels of birders. We also have kid's events too.

Speakers Attend our Speaker Series featuring a presentation on a diverse range of subjects related to birds and the environment.

Discussions Join the Eve Case Discussion Group to research then talk in-depth about a predetermined bird during a monthly meeting.

Field Trips and Travel

Get outside! Take one of our popular field trips to learn in the field from experienced birders or to investigate new birding areas.

Adventure Travel We offer multi-day domestic or international trips featuring knowledgeable leaders to destinations that are popular for birding and wildlife watching.

Just for Fun

Birdathon Participate in our annual Spring Birdathon competition to raise money for our important programs and maybe win a great prize!

Photography Join Bay Area Bird Photographers (BABP) to benefit from the experience of other photographers and to enjoy the monthly photo presentations.

Social Media Join the birding events Yahoo group to find out about and announce birding events and tours. "Like us" on Facebook.

Journaling The Bay Area Nature Journal Club will help make you a better observer, naturalist, and artist, and open a world of beauty and discovery. Learn how to keep your own nature journal with premier local artist, John Muir Laws.

Library Our Library contains lots of resources and books to enhance your birding experience.

Shop Our Nature Shop stocks lots of bird- and nature-related merchandise, including books and field guides.

Birding Coyote Valley

Stretching between south San Jose and north Morgan Hill, Coyote Valley provides important habitat for many resident and migratory birds. In order to demonstrate the ecological importance of Coyote Valley, biologist Merav Vonshak, Ph.D. collaborated with Ryan Phillips of De Anza College and our environmental advocate Shani Kleinhaus, Ph.D. to compile a list of birds that reside in and migrate through the valley. Natural history information, such as habitat and diet, conservation status, nesting status, and migration status are also included in the study. We hope the results of this project serve as a valuable resource to birders and policy makers in Santa Clara County. Results of the study are below:


Birding San Jose

SCVAS volunteer, Christine Zack, utilized bird sightings recorded with eBird, the Breeding Bird Atlas of Santa Clara Valley, and South Bay Birders Unlimited in order to compile a list of the bird species that frequent the Downtown San Jose area. The list includes species status in the Downtown Creek Area, U.S Fish and Wildlife Status, and California Status, and also indicates species on the Audubon watch list and State of the Birds watch list. We hope Christine’s project will demonstrate the ecological importance of the Downtown San Jose area, and serve as a useful resource for birders and policy makers.


Birding Santa Clara Valley

First, check out this free Santa Clara County Bird Checklist (PDF) - a comprehensive listing of the birds of Santa Clara County compiled by Bill Bousman.

What to Look For Now

  • • September & October 2019 -- a guide to potential bird sightings with helpful identification tips, by Matthew Dodder.

Our Guide: Birding at the Bottom of the Bay

Santa Clara Valley is known for its wide diversity of natural habitat including acres of redwoods, creeks, mixed oak woodlands and grasslands as well as tidal salt and fresh water marshes. It's the perfect place to look for and enjoy our large variety of bird species.


The map below is from Birding at the Bottom of the Bay, our guide to the best publicly-accessible birding sites in Santa Clara Valley. The numbers indicate birding areas discussed in the book.


McClellan Ranch(#10) Almaden Lake Park(#29) Grant Ranch County Park(#40)

Click for more information:
red numbers: excerpts from Birding at the Bottom of the Bay


Become a supporting member of SCVAS to get many benefits, including free field trips to many of these areas and complimentary copies of Birding at the Bottom of the Bay and Breeding Bird Atlas of Santa Clara County!

County Birding Challenges

Gray Flycatcher by Richard Jeffers
Once you’ve visited many of the county parks, studied the breeding bird atlas, and done a few Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, you may be thinking “what else is there to learn about the county avifauna?” Here are a few fun projects to think about, organized by season.

Santa Clara County Surveys

Below are various bird censuses compiled by SCVAS member citizen scientists.


| Cumulative Year Lists | Field Notes | Other Censuses |

Cumulative Year Lists

Compiled lists of birds seen during each year in Santa Clara County by multiple observers. Thanks to Kendric Smith and Brooke Miller for keeping this long history.







Bi-monthly Field Notes

Rare or unique bird observations in Santa Clara County are compiled and published in our bi-monthly newsletter, The Avocet, and are also archived here. All reports are compiled by Pete Dunten. To report a rare bird sighting, please email Pete at

For older reports, refer to the appropiate newsletter issue in The Avocet archives.





December 2017 - January 2018
October - November

August - September

June - July

April - May 
February - March





Other Censuses

Summer and Winter (CBC, Christmas Bird Count) count results and how to particpate.

Cavity Nesters Recovery Program (CNRP) results and how to participate.