Main Content Region

Birds on Campus

Southern California is an area rich in diversity. It has a diverse array of habitat communities, including deserts, mountains, woodlands, riparian forests, chaparral and sage scrub, marshes, lakes and rivers, and the ocean. These communities, combined with the relatively mild climate, make southern California home to a wide variety and abundance of plants and animals, including birds (and of course people). California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) is located on the coastal slope of southern California at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains. The campus itself is well-landscaped with lawns and trees that are attractive to birds that have adapted to human habitation, while the areas immediately surrounding campus harbor interior coastal sage scrub and chaparral that provide refuge to many of our native species.

The following list represents all the bird species that I have seen on campus since I started birding the area in 2002. As of September 2016, I have recorded 173 species on or immediately adjacent to the CSUSB campus (see map). The main list below lists each bird's common name and the likelihood of seeing it on campus. Each common name provides a link to a web page with more detailed information on each species, including a photograph, a more detailed explanation of its status on campus and in the general area, identification tips, and links to more information. High counts and average counts are also included for regularly occurring species to provide readers with an idea of their abundance on campus. The High Count reflects the maximum number of indivduals seen in a single day, while the Average Count gives an estimate of the number of individuals one might expect to see on a typical day. You can also visit the CSU San Bernardino eBird hotspot page, which provides links to bar charts on seasonal distribution, checklists, and recent sightings. Additional photographs of birds taken on the CSUSB campus may be found on my Flickr page.

In the main list below, an asterisk (*) indicates that the species is known to have bred or attempted to nest on campus. A dagger (†) indicates that the species probably or potentially breeds on campus but nesting evidence has not been recorded. The following definitions should be used when reading the bird list:

Status Definitions
Status Likelihood of Sighting
Common Likely to be seen at least 50% of the time
Uncommon Likely to be seen less than 50% of the time
Rare Seldom seen, but occurs regularly
Casual Less than one individual/occurrence per year on average


Season Definitions
Season Months
Fall September-November
Winter December-February
Spring March-May
Summer June-August

Note that the status refers to the likelihood of seeing a particular species, not the species' abundance on campus. For example, the Black Phoebe is a common year-round resident on campus: you might see only 5-10 birds while walking around campus, but you should see this species on almost every visit. Alternatively, you might see Horned Larks on campus only a few times per year, but when you do it could be a flock of 100 birds. The CSUSB campus comprises a relatively small area, so except for a few flocking species (e.g., blackbirds, sparrows, finches) you should not expect to see large numbers of individuals of any single species.

View the original Biology department list with detailed bird species information:

Birds on the CSUSB Campus

Geese & Ducks



Quails & Grebes

Pelicans & Herons

Vultures, Hawks, Falcons

Rails, Shorebirds, & Gulls

Pigeons & Cuckoos

Owls & Goatsuckers

Swifts, Hummingbirds, & Kingfishers


Falcons & Parrots


Shrikes, Vireos, & Jays

Larks & Swallows

Chickadees, Wrens, etc.

Thrushes & Thrashers

Starlings, Pipits, etc.



Tanagers, Grosbeaks, & Blackbirds

Finches & Old World Sparrows

Copyright 2009-2016, Tom Benson
Last updated: 14 November 2016 - Email webmaster