Join/Renew (2024 Dues)

Bird Species of San Diego County

The San Diego County Checklist includes breeding species, regular migrants or visitors, and casual or accidental species from other regions that are accepted to have reached here without human aid. The checklist follows the Official California Checklist compiled by the California Bird Records Committee, which itself follows the AOU Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition, and supplements).

Number of bird species on the San Diego County Checklist = 527

Click on the link below to download a printable version of the San Diego County Checklist.

SD County Bird Species List (updated 18 Jan 2024)

Note: Adobe Reader, or a similar PDF viewing/printing software, may be required. Most web browsers will open the document automatically for you to allow printing.

San Diego County Avian Records

San Diego County Avian Records 2002-2021 (latest update through June 2021) by Paul Lehman, Guy McCaskie, and Philip Unitt.

The report includes avian records and other information from late 2002- June 2021, and earlier records of interest not found in, or data-corrected from, Unitt (2004) & Unitt (1984; The Birds of San Diego County).

San Diego County Bird Atlas

The San Diego Museum of Natural History's San Diego Bird Atlas is based on the work of over 400 volunteer observers. It is also available through Google Earth.

Bell's and Sagebrush Sparrows

Often difficult to distinguish, Bell's Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow can both be found in San Diego County.  In January 2023, SDFO presented a recorded program originally for an LA Birders webinar on 11/18/2020 by Kimball Garrett on the status and distribution of these birds, along with identification tips.  Additional  commentary was provided by Paul Lehman and Chris McCreedy following the program.  

San Diego County Checklist


Fulvous Whistling-Duck
Snow Goose
Ross's Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Mexican Duck
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Tufted Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
King Eider
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Barrow's Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck

Mountain Quail
California Quail
Gambel's Quail

Wild Turkey
Ring-necked Pheasant

Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe

Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Spotted Dove
Inca Dove
Common Ground Dove
Ruddy Ground Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove

Groove-billed Ani
Greater Roadrunner
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Lesser Nighthawk
Common Nighthawk
Common Poorwill
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Mexican Whip-poor-will

Black Swift
Chimney Swift
Vaux's Swift
White-throated Swift

Rivoli's Hummingbird
Blue-throated Mountain-gem
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird

Ridgway's Rail
Virginia Rail
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Purple Gallinule
Yellow Rail
Black Rail

Sandhill Crane

Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet

American Oystercatcher
Black Oystercatcher

Black-bellied Plover
American Golden-Plover
Pacific Golden-Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Lesser Sand-Plover
Wilson's Plover
Mountain Plover
Snowy Plover

Upland Sandpiper
Long-billed Curlew
Bar-tailed Godwit
Hudsonian Godwit
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Black Turnstone
Red Knot
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Red-necked Stint
Baird's Sandpiper
Little Stint
Least Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Wandering Tattler
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Redshank
Greater Yellowlegs
Wood Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Red Phalarope

South Polar Skua
Pomarine Jaeger
Parasitic Jaeger
Long-tailed Jaeger

Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
Marbled Murrelet
Kittlitz's Murrelet
Scripps's Murrelet
Guadalupe Murrelet
Craveri's Murrelet
Ancient Murrelet
Cassin's Auklet
Parakeet Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet
Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin

Black-legged Kittiwake
Sabine's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Little Gull
Laughing Gull
Franklin's Gull
Belcher's Gull
Black-tailed Gull
Heermann's Gull
Short-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
Yellow-footed Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Slaty-backed Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull
Sooty Tern
Bridled Tern
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Common Tern
Arctic Tern
Forster's Tern
Royal Tern
Elegant Tern
Black Skimmer

Red-billed Tropicbird

Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Yellow-billed Loon

Laysan Albatross
Black-footed Albatross
Short-tailed Albatross

Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Leach's Storm-Petrel
Townsend's Storm-Petrel
Ashy Storm-Petrel
Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel
Black Storm-Petrel
Least Storm-Petrel

Northern Fulmar
Gray-faced Petrel
Cook's Petrel
Stejneger's Petrel
Cory's Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Buller's Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Newell's Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater

Wood Stork

Magnificent Frigatebird

Masked Booby
Nazca Booby
Blue-footed Booby
Brown Booby
Red-footed Booby


Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant

American White Pelican
Brown Pelican

American Bittern
Least Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Reddish Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron (Black-crowned Night Heron)
Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Yellow-crowned Night-Heron)

White Ibis
White-faced Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill

California Condor
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture


White-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite
Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
American Goshawk
Bald Eagle
Mississippi Kite
Common Black Hawk
Harris's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

Barn Owl

Flammulated Owl
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Burrowing Owl
Spotted Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Belted Kingfisher

Lewis's Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
Gila Woodpecker
Williamson's Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-naped Sapsucker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
White-headed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

Crested Caracara
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Falcon

Red-crowned Parrot

Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Cassin's Kingbird
Thick-billed Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Greater Pewee
Western Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Hammond's Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Western Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher

White-eyed Vireo
Bell's Vireo
Gray Vireo
Hutton's Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Cassin's Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Yellow-green Vireo

Loggerhead Shrike

Pinyon Jay
Steller's Jay
California Scrub-Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
American Crow
Common Raven


Mountain Chickadee
Oak Titmouse

Horned Lark

Bank Swallow
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow


Dusky Warbler


Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet

Bohemian Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing


Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
California Gnatcatcher

Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
Cactus Wren
Bewick's Wren
House Wren
Pacific Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren

Gray Catbird
Curve-billed Thrasher
Brown Thrasher
Bendire's Thrasher
California Thrasher
LeConte's Thrasher
Crissal Thrasher
Sage Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

American Dipper

Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend's Solitaire
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Rufous-backed Robin
American Robin
Varied Thrush

Northern Wheatear

Scaly-breasted Munia

House Sparrow

White Wagtail
Red-throated Pipit
American Pipit
Sprague's Pipit

Evening Grosbeak
House Finch
Purple Finch
Cassin's Finch
Common Redpoll
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
Lawrence's Goldfinch
American Goldfinch

Lapland Longspur
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Thick-billed Longspur
Snow Bunting

Little Bunting

Cassin's Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Lark Bunting
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Black-chinned Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Harris's Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Sagebrush Sparrow
Bell's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
LeConte's Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
Baird's Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee

Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Orchard Oriole
Hooded Oriole
Streak-backed Oriole
Bullock's Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Scott's Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Bronzed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Rusty Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Common Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle

Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Golden-winged Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Lucy's Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Virginia's Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Grace's Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Hermit Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Red-faced Warbler
Painted Redstart

Hepatic Tanager
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Western Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Indigo Bunting
Varied Bunting
Painted Bunting