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Birds, Birds, Birds in Balboa Park

By Sarah Hackenberg

San Diego's diverse landscape, from sunny beaches to inland canyons, provides a great backdrop for our feathered friends. At Balboa Park, the great outdoors appeals to bird watchers from around the nation. Did you know that more than 492 species of birds have been observed in San Diego County? That’s more than any other county in the United States. Bird-maniacs, as well as the casual naturalist are sure to enjoy:

The San Diego County Bird Atlas. Now available through Google™ Earth, this interactive application is one of the most ambitious research projects ever undertaken by the San Diego Natural History Museum. It is the product of over 400 volunteer observers who spent over 55,000 hours in the field, and consists of a framework of 479 grid squares across the county. Whenever I am looking to identify a bird in Balboa Park, this is my go-to guide. (See a PDF guide to using the atlas)

The Balboa Birders. Get outdoors with this volunteer-led birding adventure to search for local birds in a group setting. Tours occur monthly in parks, marshes, and canyons in and around Balboa Park. Birders meet the first Thursday of every month from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Bird watching is a great way to get active and have fun doing it! Contact (619) 232-3821, ext. 7 for details.

The Hummingbird House. Located in The San Diego Zoo’s Discovery Outpost, the Hummingbird House is my favorite of the six aviaries within each of the zoo’s regional zone exhibits. Children and adults alike will be amazed at the energy of these colorful creatures. I enjoy watching the Hummingbirds ruffle their feathers as they bathe in the surrounding waterfalls.
Bird Park. Dedicated to all the wild birds of San Diego, Bird Park is located at the Northeast tip of Balboa Park. The sidewalks are adorned with the names of San Diego bird species. For some summer entertainment, check out the annual Bird Park Summer Concert Series on select Saturday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Bring a picnic, enjoy some music, mingle with friends, and enjoy a sunset over the downtown skyline.