Kern County

Kern County has enough habitat variety to make it a wonderful birding region. Here, the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada Mountains meets the Great Basin and Mojave Deserts. Species such as Pinyon Jay, Scott's Oriole, White-headed Woodpecker, and Sooty Grouse can be found relatively short distances from each other. The region is home to the state's southernmost populations of species such as Sooty Grouse and Pileated Woodpecker, and the northernmost populations of species such as Summer Tanager and Vermillion Flycatcher. The area is also one of the best locations to see Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the state.

Birding Locations:

Greenhorn Mountains: Home to the state's southernmost populations of Sooty Grouse and Pileated Woodpecker and species such as White-headed Woodpecker, Northern Goshhawk, Mountain Quail, Western Screech-, Northern Pygmy-, Flammulated, Spotted, and Northern Saw-whet Owls, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Townsend's Solitaire, Western Tanager, and Lawrence's Goldfinch.

Directions: Take Highway 155 west from Wofford Heights 7.5 miles to Greenhorn Summit. To reach the Sooty Grouse area take Forest Service Road 24S15 north from Greenhorn Summit 6.7 miles to the parking area for Sunday Peak Trail. The Grouse have been found on the north and west slopes of the mountain.

Kern River Preserve: The preserve is a wonderful example of well protected Riparian Forest. Species of interest here include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Vermillion Flycatcher, Lawrence's Goldfinch, and Yellow-breasted Chat.

*Migrant Corner Trail: This trail passes through Riparian Woodlands, wet meadows, Great Basin and Mojave Desert habitats, and can produce species such as Vaux's And White-throated Swifts, Lazuli Bunting, Lawrence's Goldfinch, Wood Duck, Chukar, Golden Eagle, Greater Roadrunner, Cactus, Rock, and Canyon Wrens, California Towhee, and Black-throated Sparrow. Directions: From Highway 178 in Weldon, take Sierra way 1.2 miles north to a parking lot on the right.
*Prince's Pond: Pond and marsh area home to species such as Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Virginia Rail, Sora, Marsh Wren, and Least Bittern. Directions: From the Migrant Corner Trailhead, walk 400 yards south on Sierra Way to a gate on the right. Walk the ranch road from here.

Silver Saddle Resort/Galileo Hill: This location is well known for vagrants. Species such as rare warblers, Zone-tailed Hawk, Eyebrowed Thrush, and Upland Sandpiper have turned up here. This is also a location to look for Lawrence's Goldfinch in spring and fall.

Directions: From Hwy 14 north of Mojave, head east on California City Boulevard and head into California City. Proceed to the east side of town to Central Park (good for rarities mainly in spring) and turn onto Twenty Mule Team Parkway (borders NE side of park). Head east about 10 miles following the signs to the resort.

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White-headed Woodpecker

White-headed Woodpecker

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