Watsonville's Wetlands

Hundreds of species of birds call the Watsonville Wetlands home

Merlin Falcon

Wilder Ranch is host to many birds, including the Merlin Falcon

The Snowy Plover

A threatened species, but plentiful on south county beaches

Hummingbird

Hummingbirds thrive at the UCSC Arboretum

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Birding Adventures

Bald Eagles nest in Watsonville!

Located along the Pacific Flyway on California's spectacular Central Coast, Santa Cruz County is a premier birding destination. Its rich diversity of habitats attract upwards of 400 species of resident and migratory birds. In the old-growth forest of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, you can catch sight of the Marbled Murrelet flying through the trees at dawn. You'll find Snowy Plover skittering across the sandy beaches at Pajaro Dunes. Waterfowl dive and dabble at Wetlands of Watsonville's freshwater marshes. Hummingbirds dart among the exotic flora at the Arboretum at UCSC. And at the renowned Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, you can walk the trails or kayak the waters to see over 340 different species of birds that pass through or find permanent refuge at the slough.


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Edgewater Beach Inn & Suites

Across from beach & wharf, beautiful gardens.

Comfort Inn - Santa Cruz

Stained glass windows & over-sized spas available.

Kayak Connection

Kayak tours & rentals daily, beginners welcome!

Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria

Delicious desserts, pastries, salads, sandwiches & more


Top Birding Spots in Santa Cruz County!

Check out a local birding experts top picks




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Bird Watching in Santa Cruz County

303 Water Street, Suite 100
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
800.833.3494 or 831.425.1234
prtips@santacruz.org