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Birdwatching around San Francisco (information request) (1 Viewer)



I would be extremely grateful if anyone here could give me some up to date information on good spots to birdwatch in SF? I am not going there for a specific birdwatching trip, but there will be opportunities for me to have a look for some birds. Are Anna's Hummingbird common enough that a walk through Presidio or Golden Gate Park will prove fruitful?

Furthermore, I would be particularly interested in knowing the best areas to view shorebirds e.g. their high-tide roosting spots. I am almost certain I won't be able to take my own scope for this trip, and so I was wondering if anyone knows anywhere in the city that would rent a scope? (or any methods I could acquire one for a day).

Many thanks,



Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Until you get other answers, take a look at ebird.org, the explore section. The species map section- if you limit to recent observations and the right time of year should answer the hummer question. Checking the hotspot browser should allow you to figure out places to see many good birds.



David and Sarah
Hope some help

We saw Anna's Hummingbird pretty easily at Presidio, didn't do a lot at golden gate but the attached report shows what we saw and where in SF area


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Well-known member
A short trip report from a visit a few years ago. Managed with binoculars.
Hope this helps.

Just returned from San Francisco and had great holiday combined with some bird watching.

Found a great variety of birds within walking distance or by taking short bus rides. Early April is a great time to avoid the crowds and see a huge numbers of sea birds.

The Presidio and Chrisy Fields has fenced off areas of natural dunes and plants near a newly developed fenced scrape.
Great Northern Divers,Western Grebes,Red throated Divers and Surf Scoters 100 yards from shore.
Killdeer,Willets,Great Blue Heron,Black Crowned Night Heron,Annas Hummingbird,Snowy Egret,Western Gull,Comon scoter,Red breasted Merganser,American Kestrel,American Crow,White Crowned SparrowBuflehead,American Coot Mallard all on or near the scrape.
This area is walkable from hotel or one 10 minute bus ride away.

Near Golden Gate Bridge there were Red Tailed Hawk,Surf Scoter,Palaegic,Brandt and Double Crested Cormorant,Allens Humingbird,Willet,Dark Headed Junco,Gold Crested Sparrow,Black Bellied Magpie,Cowbird.

Golden Gate Park-Black Phoebe,Bushtit,Velvet Green Swallow,Scrub Jay,Ameerican Robin Red winged Blackbird,Pied Bill Grebe,Yellow rumped Warbler,Allen and Anna's Hummingbird.

Cliff House is a short bus ride away.Here the Pacfic meets the Bay.Loads of auks including Pigeon Guillimot,Grebes,and Divers.
Also saw Black Turnstone,Black Oysercatcher,Willet,Sanderling and the common gull species.There was a Ring Neck Duck,in Sutro Baths.

Alcatraz doubles as a bird reserve and there were all above mentioned Cormorants as well as a Pigeon Guillimot and nesting Black Crowned Night Herons.

Saw Acorn Woodpecker,and Stellars Jay at Yosemite and Black Bellied Plover,Brown Pelican and Purple Martin in Monteray.
Highlights were the Hummingbirds which are 'ten a penny' and the close views and vast numbers of grebes and divers.
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Hello all,

Many thanks for all your replies - all extremely helpful. I managed to see 80-odd species on a few days walking with just my binoculars and my partner (so no serious birdwatching!). The areas around the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park being particularly fruitful. I managed to see hundreds of Anna's Hummingbirds, they truly are ubiquitous across the entire city - I even managed to see them outside the conference centre downtown! Other personal highlights included Heermann's Gull, Black Oystercatcher, Willet, Black Skimmer, Steller's Jay, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Bluebird, Townsend's Warbler, Turkey Vulture soaring over the GG bridge and a Brown Pelican with the surfers off Ocean Beach!

Thanks again,


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