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 = 522

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
Greater White-fronted Goose-D
Snow Goose-D
Ross’s Goose-D
Cackling Goose-D
Canada Goose
Tundra Swan-B
Wood Duck
Eurasian Wigeon-D
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
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
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
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Inca Dove-A
Common Ground-Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove*-A

Yellow-billed Cuckoo-B
Greater Roadrunner

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

Magnificent Hummingbird*-A+
Blue-throated Hummingbird*-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
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
Lesser Sand-Plover*-A+
Snowy Plover
Wilson’s Plover*-A
Semipalmated Plover
Mountain Plover-A

Upland Sandpiper*-A
Long-billed Curlew
Bar-tailed Godwit*-A
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Black Turnstone
Red Knot
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper-A
Stilt Sandpiper-B
Curlew Sandpiper*-A
Red-necked Stint*-A+
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
Spotted Redshank*-A+
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser 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
Thayer’s Gull
Iceland Gull*-A+
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+

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

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

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


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+


Swallow-tailed Kite*-A+
White-tailed Kite
Mississippi Kite*-A
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Northern Goshawk-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
Ferruginous Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk-A
Golden Eagle

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
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
White-headed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

Crested Caracara*-A
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Falcon

Red-crowned Parrot-I

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
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

Loggerhead Shrike

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

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

Mountain Chickadee
Oak Titmouse



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


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
Le Conte’s Thrasher
Crissal Thrasher
Sage Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird

European Starling-I

Bohemian Waxwing-A+
Cedar Waxwing


Scaly-breasted Munia-I

House Sparrow-I

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

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

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

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
Yellow-breasted Chat

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

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

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

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 the 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 Gary Nunn on 30 January 2017.