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Birdwatching in a Los Angeles Wildlife Sanctuary

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Birdwatching in a Los Angeles

Tucked away in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, just a short drive from Los Angeles, lies the Wildlife Sanctuary in Tujunga, California. This idyllic nature reserve is a must-visit destination for birdwatchers from around the world.

Birdwatching in a Los Angeles


The sanctuary spans over 140 acres and is home to a variety of habitats, including oak woodland, chaparral, and riparian areas. This diversity of ecosystems attracts a rich variety of birdlife, making the sanctuary a birdwatcher's paradise.

The sanctuary is open year-round, but the best time to visit for birdwatching is from fall to spring. During this time, the migratory birds arrive in the sanctuary to rest and refuel before continuing their journey. Birdwatchers can expect to see a variety of species, including Warblers, Flycatchers, Thrushes, and Sparrows.

Birdwatching in a Los Angeles

One of the highlights of the sanctuary is the Tujunga Ponds. These small ponds are a magnet for migrating water birds, such as Herons, Egrets, and Ducks. A walk around the ponds and surrounding area is sure to yield some great sightings.

Accessing the Wildlife Sanctuary

To increase the opportunity to view more bird species I normally park in Oro Vista Park in Sunland (Map). From the parking lot hike west along the wash for 1.35 miles. Just as you pass the golf course turn left and cross over Foothill Blvd. Once over Foothill Blvd head towards the bridge on the right and walk past the large white gate. Walk a quarter mile under the 210 freeway and the Wildlife Sanctuary (Map) will be on your left.

Birdwatching in a Los Angeles Map

Some of the Birds you may See

On your way to the Sanctuary

  • Crows

  • Chipping Sparrow

  • Dark-Eyed Junco

  • Gilded Flicker

  • House Sparrow

  • Lesser Goldfinch

  • Mocking Bird

  • Scrub Jay

  • Western Bluebird

  • White-Crowned Sparrow

  • Wrentit

  • Yellow-Rumped Warbler

At the Ponds

  • American Coot

  • Canadian Geese

  • Great Blue Heron

  • Great Egret

  • Mallard Duck

  • Pied-Billed Grebe (Rare)

  • Red Winged Blackbird

Around the Ponds

  • Acorn Woodpecker

  • American Kestrel

  • Anna's Hummingbird

  • California Thrasher

  • Cooper's Hawk

  • Double-Crested Cormorant (Rare)

  • House Finch

  • Red-Shouldered Hawk

  • Red-Tailed Hawk

  • Spotted Towhee

  • Turkey Vulture

Whether you're an experienced birder or a novice, the Wildlife Sanctuary in Tujunga is a great place to connect with nature and see some of California's most beautiful birds. Make sure to bring your binoculars or camera and a field guide, and be prepared to be amazed by the diversity of birdlife on display.

The photographs contained in this website may not be reproduced without the express consent of Shutter Bison.

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