Chirp’s Big Bear Lake Birding Guide

Posted: 05/22/24

Welcome to SoCal's wild bird paradise!

Located within the Pacific Flyway migratory path, the Big Bear region attracts more than 250 species of native and migratory birds each year.

Just what attracts birds to the Big Bear Valley? Our little slice of paradise within the San Bernardino National Forest features all the best attractants for wild birds - the changing temperatures and seasons, the surrounding forest habitat, and water. The Big Bear Lake reservoir plus the surrounding creeks and connections to the Santa Ana River Watershed create a blend of geographical and biological factors that attract birds from the far corners of North America.

And this range of birds means bird watching is always a rich and joyful experience in Big Bear! For our birders in the valley, Chirp Nature Centers is Big Bear's birding specialty store offering everything you need to enjoy your bird watching experience. To start, read about the six biggest joys of birding adventure.

Then, pick up a copy of Chirp’s Birding Checklist, available at the Big Bear store and online. Be sure to chat with the friendly Chirp staff about birding hot spots in Big Bear Lake.

Our top five spots are:

• Bluff Lake
• Sandalwood Marsh
• Happy Hills Trail and Metcalf Creek
• Meadow’s Edge
• Knickerbocker Canyon

Birding is an accessible activity for all but if you're not sure about going out on your own, Chirp offers free bird walks during the summer. Visit our website to register or stop by the store at 578 Bonanza Trail.

Not really the birding type? Many of Big Bear’s birds will come to you - with a little effort of course. Chirp can help you get started with your backyard birding feeder system as well as provide a special Big Bear Blend of seed. There is even a seed subscription available for those who prefer delivery.

Many of those living in and visiting Big Bear are big on conservation and sustainability. Chirp’s website offers several tips on sustainability and leaving no trace as well as creating a native garden that attracts birds. In keeping with Chirp’s sustainability credo, the store offers sustainable body and hair products as well as environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Check out these other resources for the birder visiting or living in Big Bear:
Discover the Rare Birds of Big Bear Lake
What to do if you find an injured bird
Picking the perfect birding binoculars and scopes

Happy birding, from your friends at Chirp Nature Centers!