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Important Bird Areas: Coastal California

The sites listed here come from The American Bird Conservancy Guide to the 500 Most Important Bird Areas in the United States (2003). This region encompasses most of California, south of the redwoods and Cascades and west of the deserts and Sierra Nevada. A Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters creates conditions for chapparal in the low mountains along the coast here, home to characteristic specialties like Nuttall's Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Thrasher, and Lawrence's Goldfinch. The coastline provides habitat for waterbirds throughout the year: wintering American Avocet, Marbled Godwit and Surfbird; post-breeding Elegant Terns and Heermann's Gulls from Mexico; and nesting Ashy Storm-Petrels and Scripps's Murrelets on offshore islands. Wintering waterfowl are abundant in the fertile Central Valley, which is also the center of distribution for the localized Tricolored Blackbird and Yellow-billed Magpie.
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Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
2
Delevan National Wildlife Refuge
Delevan National Wildlife Refuge
3
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge
4
Sutter National Wildlife Refuge
Sutter National Wildlife Refuge
5
Butte Sink National Wildlife Refuge
Butte Sink National Wildlife Refuge
6
Cosumnes River Preserve
Cosumnes River Preserve
7
Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, California
Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, California
8
San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
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9
Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay
10
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore
11
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge
12
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
13
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
14
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
15
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
16
Great Valley Grasslands State Park, California
Great Valley Grasslands State Park, California
17
Volta Wildlife Area, California
Volta Wildlife Area, California
18
North Grasslands Wildlife Area, California
North Grasslands Wildlife Area, California
19
Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Merced National Wildlife Refuge
20
Los Banos Wildlife Area
Los Banos Wildlife Area
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21
Montana De Oro State Park, California
Montana De Oro State Park, California
22
Morro Strand State Beach, California
Morro Strand State Beach, California
23
Morro Bay State Park, California
Morro Bay State Park, California
24
Carrizo Plain National Monument
Carrizo Plain National Monument
25
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base
26
Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest
27
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park
28
Point Mugu
Point Mugu
29
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve
30
San Bernardino National Forest
San Bernardino National Forest
31
Camp Pendleton
Camp Pendleton
32
San Clemente Island, California
San Clemente Island, California
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33
Lake Hodges
Lake Hodges
34
San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
35
San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge
San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge
36
Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge
Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge
37
Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
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