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5 Great Places to Birdwatch in Los Angeles

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


Birdwatch in Los Angeles

You wouldn't think that there would be many places to Birdwatch in Los Angeles, but you would be right. There are not many places in downtown Los Angeles to birdwatch unless you like flying Rats (Pigeons), Trash Birds (Crows), and fighting with the homeless who seem to attract these birds by the hundreds. On occasion, you can come across a Peregrin Falcon flying among the highrises. The Birdwatching locations I'm referring to are North of Los Angeles on the outskirts of the city.


Don't get me wrong there are many places throughout Los Angeles that have opportunities for viewing birds, but the following locations are my favorite because I don't have to fight with the crowds and in some cases, these sights have added bonuses if you are a Photographer or just love Nature.


Birdwatch in Los Angeles Map

1. Los Angeles River

Directions: Park near the Soccer fields just off the 134 Fwy, and walk across the street to the bike path entrance under the freeway.

Birds: Waterfowl, Shorebirds, and occasional birds of prey

Price: FREE

Notes: This is a manmade river that nature has taken back in a few sections. The homeless love these same sections, so be cautious.

Bonus: None



The LA River is a large "Concrete" River with patches of trees and growth that show up towards the southern portion of the river near the 2 Fwy. In these patches, you can see Ducks, Herons, Egrets, Geese, and the Hawks and Falcons that hunt them.


2. Descanso Gardens

Birds: Waterfowl, birds of prey, and many other smaller species

Price: $

Notes: They have a pond that attracts waterfowl, but it's been under renovation for some time now so it's difficult to get close.

Bonus: Trails and Lots of Flowers in Spring


This is the perfect location to go in the spring, with lots of birds, flowers, and insects. If you are into Photography you will love all the macro and Landscape possibilities.


3. Hahamongna Watershed Park

Directions: Off the 210 Fwy in La Canada Flintridge just South of JPL. Parking is down the hill from the entrance of Oak Grove Drive, trails start east of the parking lot which will take you around the reservoir.

Birds: Waterfowl, Shorebirds, birds of prey, and many other species

Price: FREE

Notes: During the rainy season when there is actually water in the "Watershed" you will get more birds. Usually between March and May

Bonus: Lots of hiking trails


Toads

If you go in early May you can also catch the great California Toad migration. Toads by the thousands emerge from the water to head for the hills. Although Toads secrete a poison that deters other animals from eating them, as tadpoles they are open game and this tends to attract birds to the water's edge for a feast.




Birds: Waterfowl, Shorebirds, birds of prey, Peacocks, and many other species year-round.

Price: $

Notes: There are three or four water features located in the Arboretum but the largest pond (they call Baldwin Lake) has lots of vegetation around it creating the perfect spots for birds to hand out. This area of the arboretum has been used in lots of movies and TV shows.

Bonus: Lots of walking paths, and Flowers in Spring


This is the perfect location to go in the spring, with lots of birds, flowers, and insects. If you are into Photography you will love all the macro and landscape possibilities.


5. Huntington Library

Birds: Waterfowl, birds of prey, Peacocks, and many other smaller species

Price: $$

Notes: There a many different types of gardens that attract lots of birds as well as a few ponds that have smaller waterfowl throughout the year.

Bonus: Lots of Flowers in Spring, Art Galleries, and a very large greenhouse


This is the perfect location to go in the spring, with lots of birds, flowers, and insects. If you are into Photography you will love all the macro and landscape possibilities.




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