Bird Conservation Region 32

Coastal California

Description: A Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters creates conditions for mixed chaparral vegetation in the low mountains along the coast that extends into Baja California. These habitats support such birds as California Gnatcatcher, California Quail, Mountain Quail, Pygmy Nuthatch, Wrentit, California Thrasher, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, and Lawrence’s Goldfinch. The coastline provides habitat for several waterfowl and shorebird species and is an important wintering area for Marbled Godwit, American Avocet, and Surfbird. Most of the world’s populations of Ashy Storm-Petrel and Xantus’ Murrelet nest on a small number of offshore islands. A sizable proportion of the Elegant Tern and Heermann’s Gull populations spend the non-breeding season here. Millions of Sooty Shearwaters gather in pelagic waters each fall, joined by numbers of other shearwaters, storm-petrels, and alcids. The Central Valley of California lies in this region between the coastal ranges and the Sierra Nevada. Wetlands and associated uplands in the Central Valley provide roosting and foraging habitat for 60 percent of the waterfowl that winter in the Pacific Flyway, including a majority of the continental Northern Pintail population. Approximately 95 percent of the Central Valley’s depressional wetlands and 84 percent of riparian habitat have been lost, primarily to agriculture. A good deal of the remaining wetland habitat is protected within national wildlife efuges, but the majority is privately managed for waterfowl hunting. Among landbirds, the Central Valley is the center of the small ranges of the Tricolored Blackbird and Yellowbilled Magpie and also provides dwindling habitat for a host of riparian birds, such as Least Bell’s Vireo.

Bird Conservation Plans
Landbirds - California
Shorebirds - Southern Pacific Coast
Waterbirds - Pacific Coast
Waterfowl - Central Valley Joint Venture Implementation Plan, Sonoran JV Waterfowl Management Supplement
All Birds - Sonoran Joint Venture Strategic Plan
, Sonoran JV Bird Conservation Plan, Central Valley Joint Venture Implementation Plan, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture Implementation Strategy, Pacific Coast Joint Venture Strategic Plan for Coastal Northern California

Joint Venture areas: California Riparian Habitat, Central Valley
San Francisco Bay, northern reach - Pacific Coast,
southern reach into MX - Sonoran


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Note: Hawaii (not shown) is BCR 67

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