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Bird Species of San Diego County

The San Diego County Checklist includes breeding species, regular migrants or visitors, and casual or accidental species from other regions that are accepted to have reached here without human aid. The checklist follows the Official California Checklist compiled by the California Bird Records Committee, which itself follows the AOU Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition, and supplements).

Number of bird species on the San Diego County Checklist = 524

Click on the link below to download a printable version of the San Diego County Checklist.

San Diego County Checklist

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Fulvous Whistling-Duck*-A
Snow Goose-D
Ross’s Goose-D
Greater White-fronted Goose-D
Brant
Cackling Goose-D
Canada Goose
Tundra Swan-B
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Gadwall
Eurasian Wigeon-D
American Wigeon
Mallard
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Tufted Duck-A
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
King Eider*-A+
Harlequin Duck-B
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter-C
Black Scoter-C
Long-tailed Duck-C
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye-A
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck

Mountain Quail
California Quail
Gambel’s Quail
Ring-necked Pheasant-I
Wild Turkey-I

Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe-B
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark’s Grebe

Rock Pigeon-I
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove-I
[Spotted Dove]-I,-B
Inca Dove-A
Common Ground-Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove*-A
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove

Groove-billed Ani*-A+
Greater Roadrunner
Yellow-billed Cuckoo-B

Lesser Nighthawk
Common Nighthawk-A
Common Poorwill
Eastern Whip-poor-will*-A+
Mexican Whip-poor-will-A+

Black Swift-C
Chimney Swift-A
Vaux’s Swift
White-throated Swift

Rivoli’s Hummingbird*-A+
Blue-throated Mountain-gem*-A+
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird
Costa’s Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird-A+
Rufous Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird*-B
Violet-crowned Hummingbird*-A+
Xantus’s Hummingbird*-A+

Yellow Rail-A+
Black Rail-A
Ridgway’s Rail
Virginia Rail
Sora
Purple Gallinule*-A+
Common Gallinule
American Coot

Sandhill Crane-A

Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet

American Oystercatcher-B
Black Oystercatcher-D

Black-bellied Plover
American Golden-Plover-B
Pacific Golden-Plover-D
Killdeer
Semipalmated Plover
Lesser Sand-Plover*-A+
Wilson’s Plover*-A
Mountain Plover-A
Snowy Plover

Upland Sandpiper*-A
Whimbrel
Long-billed Curlew
Bar-tailed Godwit*-A
Hudsonian Godwit*-A
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Black Turnstone
Red Knot
Surfbird
Ruff-B
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper-A
Stilt Sandpiper-B
Curlew Sandpiper*-A
Red-necked Stint*-A+
Sanderling
Dunlin
Baird’s Sandpiper-D
Little Stint*-A+
Least Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper-A
Pectoral Sandpiper-D
Semipalmated Sandpiper-C
Western Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson’s Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper-D
Wandering Tattler
Lesser Yellowlegs
Willet
Spotted Redshank*-A+
Greater Yellowlegs
Wood Sandpiper*-A+
Wilson’s Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Red Phalarope

South Polar Skua-D
Pomarine Jaeger
Parasitic Jaeger
Long-tailed Jaeger-C

Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot-B
Marbled Murrelet-A
Kittlitz’s Murrelet*-A+
Scripps’s Murrelet
Guadalupe Murrelet-B
Craveri’s Murrelet-B
Ancient Murrelet-C
Cassin’s Auklet
Parakeet Auklet-A+
Rhinoceros Auklet
Horned Puffin-A
Tufted Puffin-A

Black-legged Kittiwake-D
Sabine’s Gull
Bonaparte’s Gull
Little Gull-A
Laughing Gull-C
Franklin’s Gull-B
Belcher’s Gull*-A+
Black-tailed Gull*-A+
Heermann’s Gull
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull
Yellow-footed Gull-A
California Gull
Herring Gull
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull-A
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull-C
Sooty Tern*-A
Bridled Tern*-A+
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Black Tern-C
Common Tern
Arctic Tern
Forster’s Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern*-A
Elegant Tern
Black Skimmer

Red-billed Tropicbird-C

Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon

Laysan Albatross-A
Black-footed Albatross-D
Short-tailed Albatross*-A+

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel-A
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel-B
Leach’s Storm-Petrel-D
Townsend’s Storm-Petrel-C
Ashy Storm-Petrel-F
Black Storm-Petrel
Least Storm-Petrel-F

Northern Fulmar
Gray-faced Petrel*-A+
Cook’s Petrel-A+
Cory’s Shearwater*-A+
Wedge-tailed Shearwater*-A+
Buller’s Shearwater-C
Short-tailed Shearwater-D
Sooty Shearwater
Great Shearwater*-A+
Pink-footed Shearwater
Flesh-footed Shearwater-B
Manx Shearwater-B
Newell’s Shearwater*-A+
Black-vented Shearwater

Wood Stork*-A

Magnificent Frigatebird-B

Masked Booby*-A
Nazca Booby-A+
Blue-footed Booby-A
Brown Booby-C
Red-footed Booby*-A

Brandt’s Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant-A+
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant

Anhinga*-A+

American White Pelican
Brown Pelican

American Bittern
Least Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron*-B
Reddish Egret-D
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron-C

White Ibis*-A+
White-faced Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill*-A

Black Vulture*-A+
Turkey Vulture
[California Condor]-A+

Osprey

White-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite*-A+
Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Northern Goshawk-A+
Bald Eagle
Mississippi Kite*-A
Common Black Hawk*-A+
Harris’s Hawk-B
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk-B
Swainson’s Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk-C
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk-A
Ferruginous Hawk

Barn Owl

Flammulated Owl-C
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Burrowing Owl
Spotted Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl-C
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Belted Kingfisher

Lewis’s Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
Gila Woodpecker-A+
Williamson’s Sapsucker-C
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-C
Red-naped Sapsucker
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
White-headed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

Crested Caracara*-A
American Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Falcon

Red-crowned Parrot-I

Dusky-capped Flycatcher*-A
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher*-A
Brown-crested Flycatcher-F
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher*-A
Tropical Kingbird-D
Cassin’s Kingbird
Thick-billed Kingbird*-A
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird-B
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher-B
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Greater Pewee*-A
Western Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher*-A
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher-B
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher-F
Dusky Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe-C
Say’s Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher-F

Loggerhead Shrike

White-eyed Vireo*-A
Bell’s Vireo
Gray Vireo
Hutton’s Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo-B
Cassin’s Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo*-B
Plumbeous Vireo-F
Philadelphia Vireo-A
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo-B
Yellow-green Vireo-B

Pinyon Jay-B
Steller’s Jay
California Scrub-Jay
Clark’s Nutcracker-B
American Crow
Common Raven

Horned Lark

Bank Swallow-C
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin-D
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow

Mountain Chickadee
Oak Titmouse

Verdin

Bushtit

Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
House Wren
Pacific Wren-C
Winter Wren*-A
Marsh Wren
Bewick’s Wren
Cactus Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
California Gnatcatcher
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

American Dipper-B

Golden-crowned Kinglet-D
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Dusky Warbler*-A+

Wrentit

Northern Wheatear*-A+

Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend’s Solitaire
Gray-cheeked Thrush*-A
Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush*-A
Rufous-backed Robin*-A+
American Robin
Varied Thrush-D

Gray Catbird-B
Curve-billed Thrasher*-A+
Brown Thrasher-B
Bendire’s Thrasher-A
California Thrasher
LeConte’s Thrasher
Crissal Thrasher
Sage Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird

European Starling-I

Bohemian Waxwing-A+
Cedar Waxwing

Phainopepla

Scaly-breasted Munia-I

House Sparrow-I

White Wagtail*-A+
Red-throated Pipit-C
American Pipit
Sprague’s Pipit-A

Evening Grosbeak-B
House Finch
Purple Finch
Cassin’s Finch-D
Common Redpoll*-A+
Red Crossbill-C
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
Lawrence’s Goldfinch
American Goldfinch

Lapland Longspur-C
Chestnut-collared Longspur-B
McCown’s Longspur-A
Snow Bunting*-A+

Little Bunting*-A+
Cassin’s Sparrow*-A+
Grasshopper Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Lark Bunting-B
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow-D
Black-chinned Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow-A
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow-B
White-throated Sparrow-D
Sagebrush Sparrow
Bell’s Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
LeConte’s Sparrow*-A+
Nelson’s Sparrow-B
Baird’s Sparrow*-A+
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow-B
California Towhee
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee

Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-headed Blackbird-F
Bobolink-B
Western Meadowlark
Orchard Oriole-C
Hooded Oriole
Streak-backed Oriole*-A+
Bullock’s Oriole
Baltimore Oriole-C
Scott’s Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Tricolored Blackbird
Bronzed Cowbird-A
Brown-headed Cowbird
Rusty Blackbird-A
Brewer’s Blackbird
Common Grackle*-A
Great-tailed Grackle

Ovenbird-B
Worm-eating Warbler*-B
Louisiana Waterthrush*-A+
Northern Waterthrush-C
Golden-winged Warbler*-A
Blue-winged Warbler*-A
Black-and-white Warbler-F
Prothonotary Warbler-B
Tennessee Warbler-C
Orange-crowned Warbler
Lucy’s Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Virginia’s Warbler-B
Connecticut Warbler*-A
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Mourning Warbler*-A
Kentucky Warbler-A
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler-B
American Redstart-F
Cape May Warbler*-A
Cerulean Warbler*-A+
Northern Parula-C
Magnolia Warbler-C
Bay-breasted Warbler-A
Blackburnian Warbler-C
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler-C
Blackpoll Warbler-C
Black-throated Blue Warbler-C
Palm Warbler-D
Pine Warbler-B
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler-B
Prairie Warbler-B
Grace’s Warbler*-B
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler
Hermit Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler-B
Canada Warbler-B
Wilson’s Warbler
Red-faced Warbler*-A
Painted Redstart-B

Hepatic Tanager-B
Summer Tanager-F
Scarlet Tanager-C
Western Tanager
Pyrrhuloxia*-A+
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-D
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting
Indigo Bunting-C
Varied Bunting*-A+
Painted Bunting-B
Dickcissel-B

Suffixes to the species name indicate the following:
* = California Bird Records Committee (CBRC) Review Species
I = Introduced species
[ ] = Extirpated species

Where shown “ABC” Rarity Listing Codes, a measure of rarity in San Diego County, denote the following:
A+ = One or two records for the county
A = Two or fewer records in the last decade
B = Averages up to about one record annually
C = Averages up to about five records annually
D = Averages up to about ten records annually
F = Rare but regular

SDFO extends thanks to Guy McCaskie and Paul Lehman for their assistance and also to BJ Stacy, Barbara L. Carlson, Mark J. Billings, Sara Mayers, and Matt Sadowski for help on earlier versions of this checklist.

Last updated by Barbara Carlson & Gary Nunn on 29 May 2020.