Big Bear is a birder’s paradise where you can find excellent bird watching year-round. Over 250 species of birds call Big Bear Valley and the San Bernardino Wilderness Area home, and the region is also an overwintering habitat for numerous migratory bird species, including white pelicans and bald eagles. The area hosts a large variety of endangered and endemic avian species—some found nowhere else in the world. Though good birding is everywhere in the Big Bear area, here are some spots that are known for their high concentrations of bird life. Big Bear birds are something to explore!
Woodland Trail is the perfect birding trail for beginners, and also appropriate for most fitness levels. This flat 1.5-mile hike hosts a number of resident bird species such as Nuttall’s woodpecker, the band-tailed pigeon, the plain titmouse, and many more.
The beautiful Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve offers excellent birding, and it’s also a wonderful place for a picnic. A habitat and breeding ground for overwintering species as well as permanent avian populations, Stanfield March is home to thousands of waterfowl. During the winter months, you can see bald eagles, white pelicans, and ospreys. A wooden gazebo and a wetlands boardwalk provide superb places to watch bird life.
Big Bear Lake, especially its north shore, is home to a fair population of loons, geese, ducks, coots, gulls, herons, and egrets. The lake is also a year-round home to hawks and three-colored blackbirds, and is a wintering ground for bald eagles, Canada geese, and white pelicans.
The Cougar Crest Trail hosts a number of rare avian species. Outlining the northern rim of Big Bear Valley before continuing on to the Pacific Crest Trail, you may see endemic avian treasures such as California thrashers, California quail, and California towhees. As with most birding locales, the best viewing is in the early morning.
The spectacular Skyline Trail is located behind Snow Summit and is home to many avian species that are not found anywhere else. Traversing the southern edge of Big Bear Valley parallel to Forest Service Road 2N10 (Skyline Drive), this 8-mile trail also offers some of the best panoramic views in the Big Bear area.
The Bertha Peak Trail offers fantastic birding, and is a favorite winter habitat for several species of tanagers, orioles, vireos, and thrushes, as well as being home to year-round residents such as lesser goldfinches. Offering awe-inspiring lake and mountain views, Bertha Peak Trail connects with the Hanna Flats Loop, where you can also experience good birding.
Our knowledgeable staff lives and works in Big Bear, so we know all about the great birding here and can help you find the best places to aim your binoculars and camera. Contact us today at Big Bear Vacations to plan an amazingBig Bear birds expedition.