More than 300 species of birds have been recorded in the Anza-Borrego region.  Anza-Borrego's wide range of elevations, from close to sea level in the east to 6,200 feet in the mountain peaks, has created a great diversity of habitat for birds.  Many of these birds, like the Swainson's Hawk and seasonal songbirds are here only briefly during their seasonal migration.  Other species are found here throughout the year.  

Check our activities calendar: during the southwest desert season (October - April) ABDNHA offers regular birding walks in the Borrego Springs and Anza-Borrego area as well as guided birding trips to the Salton Sea.

Guide to the Birds of the Anza-Borrego Desert is an excellent guidebook on birding locations in Anza-Borrego.  It provides detailed information about specific locations, habitat information, and listings of birds that may be sighted in each of the areas, taking the data from prior bird counts.

Birds in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a comprehensive list of species seen in Anza-Borrego, with the seasons of the year when they are likely seen, and their habitat. 

Both publications are available in the ABDNHA Desert Nature Center, 652 Palm Canyon Road, in Borrego Springs.  Guide to the Birds of the Anza-Borrego Desert is available online.

Also see our Bird Photo Gallery (below on this page) and don't be too shy to visit "Desert Birds for Kids" to see and hear more from the most common desert birds.

Birding Hot Spots Remarks

Agua Caliente Located right along the Elsinore Fault, water seeps up into the desert in this area, creating thickets of green, providing cover, nesting sites, and food sources.  The very nice hot springs also makes Agua Caliente a nice place for the birders to enjoy a relaxing soak.
Lower Willows in Coyote Canyon The extensive riparian habitat here attracts birds that are unusual for the desert environment.  This is a good place to be during a migration wave in Springtime.
Yaqui Well - Tamarisk Grove This area near the Tamarisk Campground offers access to several different habitat types, San Felipe Wash with vegetation typical of a desert wash, Yaqui ridge, with desert shrubs, the Cactus Loop Trail, with a good variety of cactus, and nearby Yaqui Well, a seep with old cottonwood trees and dense shrubs.   Tamarisk grove is a good location to spot barn owls. 
Mountain Palm Springs Approximately three mile trail in the southern part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park that leads to several groves of native California fan palms California Washingtonia.
Bow Willow Canyon Bow Willow is a usually dry wash that drains from the In-Ko-Pah Mountains.  This is excellent habitat for desert willow and there are many side trails that lead to palm groves.
Palm Canyon near Borrego Springs The Borrego Palm Canyon trail starts in the state park's main campground, about two miles west of Borrego Springs. It is the most popular hiking trail in the park.  The trees and desert vegetation around the campground at the starting point of the trail make for a good birding area and the palm oasis at the other end of the trail offers water, seeps, and a native California fan palm environment.
Borrego Springs:
There are many locations good for birding in Borrego Springs, particularly transition zones where desert vegetation meets irrigated "green zones", along the edges of RV parks, golf courses, and other places that offer birds good cover, waterm sources of food, and nesting locations.  
Borrego Hawk Watch Good Viewing sites along Di Giorgio and Borrego Valley Roads.  March is prime time.  As many as 500 Swainson's Hawks are sometimes spotted per day during peak migration periods.
The Salton Sea No, it's not quite in Borrego springs, but it is very close, and it's one of the best winter birding locations in all of the U.S.  Would you like to see some Burrowning owls?  They are just about guaranteed on a trip to the agricultural fields south of the sea.
See Also: The Borrego Hawk Watch                How the Hawkwatch was Started  
Big Year Borrego Birding list 2013    View Christmas Bird Count 2014
Birding Videos


The photo gallery below displays many of the most commonly seen birds in
and around Borrego Springs and the the Anza-Borrego Desert region. 
Thank you, Vic Murayama, for sharing many of your photos.