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Birdwatching at Hansen Dam Nature Preserve

Updated: Jul 14, 2023


Hansen Dam Nature Preserve, located at the base of the Angeles Crest mountains of Southern California, is a beautiful and diverse ecosystem that offers an abundance of birdwatching opportunities for enthusiasts of all levels. The preserve spans over 1,500 acres and features a variety of habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, and riparian areas, making it an ideal location for observing a wide range of bird species.


One of the most popular birdwatching areas in the preserve is the Hansen Dam Reservoir, which attracts a variety of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and grebes. Visitors can watch these birds from the shore. Some of the common species seen in this area include American coots, mallards, and double-crested cormorants.



Another birdwatching hotspot at Hansen Dam Nature Preserve is the riparian area surrounding Big Tujunga Creek, which is home to a variety of songbirds, woodpeckers, and raptors. Visitors can explore the trails along the creek and look for birds such as the northern flicker, spotted towhee, and belted kingfisher. Lucky observers may even catch a glimpse of a red-tailed hawk soaring overhead.


For those interested in observing birds of prey, the preserve’s grasslands offer opportunities to see several species of hawks and falcons, including the American kestrel and the red-shouldered hawk. These birds can be seen hunting in the open fields, scanning for prey from perches along fence posts and trees.


Birds that Frequent the Area

​Acorn Woodpecker American Coot American Kestrel Allens Hummingbird Annas Hummingbird Ash-Throated Flycatcher California Thrasher California Towhee Canadian Geese Cooper's Hawk Crows Downy Woodpecker Finches

​Great Blue Heron Kingbirds Mallard Duck Mockingbird Northern Flicker Red-tailed Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Red-winged Blackbird Sparrows Turkey Vulture Warblers


Visitors to Hansen Dam Nature Preserve can also participate in organized birdwatching events, such as guided hikes and bird walks, led by experienced naturalists who are knowledgeable about the area’s bird species and habitats. These events are a great way to learn more about the diverse avian population in the preserve and to connect with other bird enthusiasts.


Hanson Dam Nature Preserve Map
Hansen Dam Nature Preserve Map

In addition to birdwatching, Hansen Dam Nature Preserve offers a variety of other outdoor activities, including hiking, and fishing. The preserve is open year-round and is free to the public. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a beginner, Hansen Dam Nature Preserve is an excellent location to observe and appreciate the beauty of Southern California’s birdlife.



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