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Bird Watching Journey to Big Bear

Founded in 1907, we have served over 1.3 million guest nights over the last 113+ years!

HomeJourney to Big BearBird Watching Journey to Big Bear

The beauty of a lakefront village along with fresh mountain air, and a slower pace than a big city may just be what the doctor ordered this winter. You’ll find everything you’re looking for to make a vacation to remember when you make a trip to Big Bear and the surrounding area. It is also a great spot for bird watching during spring and fall migration seasons, with a variety of species that call the area home year-round. Check out how to plan a bird watching journey to Big Bear below!

Holcomb Valley

Home to the site of the most gold mines in Southern California during the Gold Rush era, the valley is also ripe with wildlife activity, including birds. Human visitors to the area should keep their eyes peeled for winged visitors like bald and golden eagles, great horned owls, western bluebird, turkey vulture, brown-headed cowbirds, and many more.

Baldwin Lake

There is plenty to do near Baldwin Lake, including birding. Head out in search of cinnamon teal, American wigeon, mallard, common goldeneye, California gull, red-breasted nuthatch, a variety of egret species, and the list goes on!

Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve

The wetland ecosystem plays host to a myriad of wildlife species, including many birds and waterfowl. The 145-acre preserve provides a peaceful refuge for humans and birds alike. You can also choose to walk the 1.6-mile boardwalk that runs along the edge of Baker’s Pond.

Include all the activities available in the area, including birding. The diversity of the habitat draws a diverse crowd of birds. Various ducks and geese, as well as herons, hawks, Jackie, or shadow.

Sandalwood Marsh

Also known as Von’s Marsh, the trail to this birding hot spot in Big Bear is somewhat inconspicuous. The trailhead for the wide dirt trail is located three miles from Chirp Nature Center in Big Bear. Park along Sandalwood Drive and prepare to tackle the fairly easy out-and-back trail that cuts through open meadows, near Rathbun Creek, and more. You can expect to see sparrows, blackbirds, a variety of ducks, and many other winged residents.

Grout Bay

Heralding one of the best scenic views in Big Bear Lake, the area at the north shore of the lake is a great spot for humans as well as birds. Nearly 200 species of bird have been sighted in the area. While you’re out, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of warblers, canyon wren, black-crowned night heron, hummingbirds, ducks, cinnamon teal, and an array of other winged friends.

Metcalf Bay

Birds enjoy great lake views, too. The bay and the surrounding area offers a serene environment and beautiful views of the mountains and lake. Take a break from birding and enjoy the picnic area, swimming, and more. No matter what you’re doing in the area, you’ll still want to keep your eyes peeled for majestic winged creatures flying overhead. Just a few to look out for include mallards, bald eagles, and Brewer’s blackbird.

Bluff Lake

Birding is great at several other nearby lakes in the Big Bear area. Head over to Bluff Lake, just six miles from Big Bear. The 20-acre lake feeds an open meadow and is surrounded by a beautiful pine forest. It’s also home to rare marsh vegetation, making it a hot spot for all sorts of wildlife, including birds. Keep a lookout for waterfowl, various marsh birds, woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, purple finch, dark-eyed junco, and many more.

Pacific Crest Trail

The trail is often a once in a lifetime trek for many. Traversing the whole trail, from Campo, Mexico to Highway 3/Manning Prov. Park at the Canadian border, is quite a feat. The famed trail passes right by Big Bear Lake! Make birding a part of your PCT activities and keep an eye out for nesting redhead ducks, ruddy ducks, eared grebes, and even common nighthawks. If you’re here in the wintertime, you might catch glimpses of bald eagles hunting and nesting around the shoreline of the lake.

Your Nest for Birding in Big Bear

You came to Big Bear and the surrounding area on a journey full of fun and exciting activities like birding and more, along with other attractions to escape the stresses of everyday life. Extend that fun and relaxation to your accommodations by booking a vacation rental with Big Bear Vacations. Make a delicious meal to recharge after a long day of birding, a filling breakfast before heading out, or put together trail snacks in your unit’s fully equipped kitchen.

Gather together with loved ones on the couch and watch your favorite movie or spend some even more time outdoors with the birds in an outdoor space like a deck or patio. Choose a cozy one-bedroom for your small family or sweetheart birding getaway, all the way up to a sprawling five-bedroom for a larger group.
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