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sbcoBIRDING Santa Barbara County Birding

Complete Santa Barbara County Bird List

From the link below you will find the complete list of all bird species recorded in Santa Barbara County to date. This list is updated when taxonomic changes are published by the American Ornithologists Union (AOU), when new birds are recorded in the county, or when documented sightings are published by the California Bird Records Committee (CBRC).

Seasonal bar chart

Species map markers

By Paul Lehman


Originally published in 1994, Paul’s manuscript remains the definitive work on the status and distribution of the birds of Santa Barbara County, California. Paul continues to revise and update his book annually to include new information from available historical data and contributions from the birding community.


Many changes have occurred since the first publication over twenty years ago including range expansion and decline in bird populations, taxonomic splits, name changes, and the addition of bird species new to the county. Paul’s annual updates offer the most current understanding of the status and distribution of local birds.


This is available as a pdf or epub file for e-book readers from the following link:

The Birds of Santa Barbara County

eBird is a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way birders report and access information about birds. It is not just a warehouse of observational data, it's an online tool that allows you to record and archive your data down to the county level, all while making your efforts available to scientists.


eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. Checklists can be customized with comments, field notes, and by embedding photos, audio recordings or video media for added documentation. You can also subscribe to eBird Rare Bird Alerts and track personal yard and patch totals.


With thousands of birdwatchers across the continent contributing millions of sightings, eBird has become a vast source of bird and environmental information useful not only to birders but to scientists and conservationists.

Why not make your observations count? Participate in citizen science! Build personal lists while making contributions to the knowledge base of local bird distribution. Visit eBird >> and sign up. It’s free!


Find county eBird data - checklists, Hot Spots, and more:

Explore a Location >>


IMPORTANT: Please read through the following county Reporting List before making contributions:

County Reporting List >>


There are many important protocols to consider when contributing to eBird. The Help Center >>  is the place to start if you have questions. Some important topics related to county birding are:


Adding Species Comments >>


Adding Photos & Video >>


Entering Historic Data >>


Observation Types >>


Pelagic Protocol >>


Reporting Rarities >>

The Santa Barbara Breeding Bird Study

The Santa Barbara Breeding Bird Study is a collection of breeding bird records covering the county and projected on maps using Google Fusion Tables.  


What began as a consolidation of historical records in field notes from UCSB environmental contract sites has expanded to include input from many observers documenting nearly 170 breeding species. The effort is sponsored by Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration at UCSB and the Santa Barbara Audubon Society.


For complete instructions follow this link to access and explore the BBS data: