Bird Watchers Nest in Pismo Beach
It’s a bird! It’s another bird! It’s birdwatching time in Pismo Beach! January is a fantastic month for birding on the Central Coast, and local events draw birders from all over the continent who wish to get up close and personal with some feathered friends.
Get Festive with Pismo Beach Birds
The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival is an annual eco-tourism event that gathers together over 450 birders in Morro Bay, California, on Martin Luther King weekend. Bird enthusiasts are able to see, photograph, and learn more about the over 200 species and thousands of birds native to the beautiful Central Coast beaches and parks.
Birding takes place on half-day field trips and all-day tours via boat rides, kayaks, and van trips throughout San Luis Obispo County, to visit a variety of habitats including deep water pelagic, oak woodland and riparian, wetland and estuary, and the unique grassland habitat of the Carrizo Plain.Informative workshops introduce newbies to the art of birding, while veterans of bird observation can delve into very specific bird topics on everything from feathers to gull identification.
The festival caters to avid bird watchers but welcomes families and beginners, identifying programs appropriate for every level of birding. Vendors and local merchants will be on hand with nature-related books, equipment, gear, and artwork.
Why Central Coast Birding Is So Special
San Luis Obispo County is one of the top 10 bird watching sites in the United States. Morro Bay in particular has been classified as a Globally Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society, which means that the area is home to species that are endangered or of particular conservation concern and a top priority in terms of species conservation. Morro Bay is also a designated State and National Estuary.
The famed Morro Rock, a member of the Nine Sisters of volcanic Plugs, is home to the nesting Peregrine Falcons. This site has been designated as a protected bird sanctuary and is closed to any climbing or disturbance.
These Aren’t Your Modern Day “Tweets”
There are prime bird-watching areas in San Luis Obispo County and Pismo Beach year-round. Find your way to Atascadero Lake to admire egrets and herons or head to Los Osos, home to the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve and passerines, gulls, and ducks. Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area in Nipomo gives birders an opportunity to spy Sora and Green Herons while the large inland reservoir, Santa Margarita Lake, hosts Golden Eagles and the ever-elusive Bald Eagle.
Migrate to the SeaCrest in Pismo Beach
If you’re taking flight to a Pismo Beach hotel in January, the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel is the perfect place to perch for the night. Wake up early and enjoy some solitude with direct beach access and do a little private bird watching before you meet up with other Central Coast birding enthusiasts.