Birding USA, Part 3: 10 Western Hotspots for Photographing Birds - Trust Me Shops

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Birding USA, Part 3: 10 Western Hotspots for Photographing Birds

Birding USA, Part 3: 10 Western Hotspots for Photographing Birds

B&H explora - All posts
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Birding USA: 10 Western Hotspots for Photographing Birds

This article is the final installment of our three-part series covering the best locations in the United States for birdwatching and bird photography. Don’t forget to check out 10 Eastern US Hotspots and 10 Central US Hotspots for even more bird-friendly travel destinations. Finally, no birding trip is complete without a field guide to help with identification.

View from Point Reyes Lighthouse

1. Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Almost 500 species of birds keep Point Reyes close to the top of nearly every list of birding destinations in the United States. More than half of all North American species of birds have been spotted in the area. Extending ten miles into the Pacific Ocean, part of the reason for the diversity comes from its role as a vagrant landing spot along the Pacific Flyway.

Bear Valley’s proximity to the Point Reyes Visitor Center makes it a popular place to start. The Bear Valley Trail (8 miles) takes visitors through multiple habitats as it winds toward the shore. Acorn Woodpeckers are common sights around the year; summer brings flycatcher, warbler, and swallow; and winter invites thrush, sparrow, and blackbird. The Earthquake Trail (0.5 mile) offers a less intense hike through the area. Birders seeking waterfowl will want to check out the trails surrounding the nearby wetlands at Limantour. The fall and winter are the best times to catch a variety of grebe, loon, and other water birds.

A 1.5-mile trail leads to Abbotts Lagoon, where more than forty species of shorebirds visit during late summer and early fall. Among the rarer sights include Hudsonian and Bar-Tailed Godwit, as well as Sharp-Tailed and Buff-Breasted Sandpiper. Additionally, the area also serves as an invaluable nesting ground for the threatened Western Snowy Plover.

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