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Where to Bird in Orange County

Wetlands & Ocean Shores
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (714) 840-1575 - Map
Located at 3842 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach, on the inland side of  Pacific Coast Highway at the only signal between Seapoint  Ave. and Warner  in Huntington Beach.  (photos & infomation)
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Crescent Bay, Laguna Beach - Map
Overlooking rocky outcroppings and a small sandy beach.  Access from Pacific Coast Highway; take Crescent Bay Drive in the northern end of Laguna Beach.  There is a signal and a small brown sign identifying Crescent Bay.  This is a good location  for spotting Wandering Tattlers, Surf Birds & Black Turnstones from the overlook.  Limited parking is free but fills up quickly on weekends.
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Heisler Park, Laguna Beach - Map 
Overlooking Bird Rock and other rocky outcroppings.  Access from Pacific Coast Highway, take Aster toward the ocean, pass the art museum and Las Brisas Restaurant, and find a place to park. This park is located north of the Main Beach and up the hill.  Parking meters accept quarters only and are frequently patrolled.This is a good place to spot Doouble-crested, Brant's and Pelagic Cormorants. Limited metered parking fills up quickly, especially on weekends.
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Little Corona, Corona del Mar - Map 
Located at the end of Poppy Street, off Pacific Coast Highway, in Corona del Mar. Limited parking;  avoid weekend visits if possible. Information about Little Corona
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San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine (949) 261-7963 - Map - photo & info
Located at 5 Riparian View, Irvine. From the San Diego Freeway (405), exit on Jamboree south toward Newport Beach. At the 1st signal (which is Michelson), turn left. Continue on Michelson (past the old entrance to the SJWS) to the 5th signal which is Harvard and turn right. Drive to University & turn right. Drive to Campus & turn right. Stay in far right lane and immediately turn right onto Riparian View which will enter the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. (There is a dark green sign by the turnoff identying this as the route into the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.) At the end of the road, you will make a sharp left turn down a steep driveway and into the parking lot. If you have a low slung car, drive over the bump with care; driving over it diagonally usually works best. The 1st building you will see will be Audubon House; the Duck Club is adjacent to Audubon House. Beyond this area are the ponds and marsh mitigation areas of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary which are open every day from dawn to dusk. (If you miss the turn on to Riparian View, and reach Carlson (the next signal), just turn right and go around the block again to Harvard.)The ponds are open daily from dawn to dusk;  they can be accessed by 10 miles of carefully graded trails.  Native vegetation has been planted around the ponds and along the paths.  This area is now one of the best birding locations in Southern California.
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Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve (949) 640-9956 - Map 
http://www.visitnewportbeach.com/includes/media/docs/Website-Map.pdf
Access is from Jamboree near the Pacific Coast Hwy in Newport Beach.  From Jamboree, take Back Bay Drive or San Joaquin Hills Rd to the Upper Newport Bay. 
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Streamside Woodland & Coastal Sage Scrub
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Casper's Regional Park (949) 923-2210 - Map   FEE  AREA
Located at 33401 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano:  on the Ortega Highway, 7.5 mi north of I-5 Freeway & San Juan Capistrano
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Crystal Cove State Park (949) 494-3539  - Map   FEE  AREA
Located along Pacific Coast Highway north of Laguna Beach
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Irvine Regional Park (714) 973-6835 - Map   FEE  AREA
Located at 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange: at the end of Jamboree, on the NE side of Santiago Canyon Rd.
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Laguna Coast Wilderness Park (949) 923-2235 - Map  FEE  AREA
Located at 18751 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach: off Laguna Canyon Road,  just past the El Toro intersection as you head toward Laguna Beach. 
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Oak Canyon Nature Center (714-998-8380) - Map
Located at 6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd. in Anaheim.  This is a 58 acre natural park nestled in the Anaheim Hills, which consists of 3 adjoining canyons, a year round stream, six miles of hiking trails, and an interpretive center. It is located  at 6700 East Walnut Canyon Rd., just off of Nohl Ranch Rd, adjacent to the Anaheim Hills Golf Course. It is near the 91 fwy. and Imperial Blvd. in Anaheim Hills.
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O'Neill Regional Park (949) 923-2260 - Map - FEE  AREA
Located at 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road in Trabuco Canyon. (949) 923-2260
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Santiago Oaks Regional Park (714) 973-6620 - Map   FEE  AREA
Located  at 2145 N. Windes Dr in Orange:  Windes Dr. intersects with Santiago Canyon Road.
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Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary (714) 649-2760 - Map
Located at 29322 Modjeska Canyon Rd, the end of Modjeska Canyon, off Santiago Canyon Rd. between Silverado Canyon Rd. & Live Oak Canyon Rd. 
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San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine (949) 261-7963 - Map

From the San Diego Freeway (#405), exit on Jamboree, south, toward Newport Beach.  At the 1st signal which is Michelson, turn left.  Continue on Michelson (past the old entrance to the SJWS) to the 5th signal which is Harvard and turn right. Drive to the next signal which is University and turn right. Drive to the next signal which is Campus Drive and turn right. Stay in the far right land and immediately turn right onto Riparian View which will enter the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. The entrance road is marked by a green sign. If you miss the turn and reach Carlson, turn right and go around the block again. The sanctuary is open every day from dawn until dusk. No dogs, horses, or bikes allowed.

The first building you will see is Audubon House;  parking is free.  Restroom facilities and a drinking fountain are available.  Beyond Audubon House are the ponds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.  A copy of the extensive bird list for this sanctuary can be found on the SJWS bird list page; copies of the list and a map of the trails can be obtained at Audubon House. The ponds are open daily from dawn to dusk;  they can be accessed by 10 miles of carefully graded trails.  Native vegetation has been planted around the ponds and along the paths.  This area is now one of the best birding locations in Southern California. (photo & lots of information)

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Urban Parks & Arboretums
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Environmental Nature Center (ENC) (949) 645-8489 - Map
Located at 1601 - 16th Street in Newport Beach
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Huntington Central Park (HCP), Huntington Beach - Map 
Located from Edwards to Goldenwest to Gothard, between Slater & Ellis.
 
Shipley Nature Center (HCP), Huntington Beach - Map
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.Turtle Rock Nature Center, Irvine (949) 724-6734 - Map
Located at 1 Sunnyhill Drive; Sunnyhill intersects with Turtle Rock Drive.  This nature center area has picnic facilities & restrooms, as well as a pond, a willow & sycamore riparian area, and extensive areas of lawn and trees.
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Mason Regional Park, Irvine (949) 923-2220  -  Map FEE AREA
Located at 18712 University Drive in Irvine: between Culver & Ridgeline
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Orange County Regional Parks  - FEE AREAS
County Regional & Wilderness Parks Annual Parking Pass - with entrance booths and/or pay and display machines - Regular: $55; Senior (60 years +) or Disabled: $35. County Beach Annual Parking Pass with "Pay and Display" Machines - Regular: $55; Senior (60 years +) or Disabled: $35. All County Parks & Beaches Annual Parking Pass - Regular: $80; Senior (60 years +) or Disabled: $50; Distiinguished Veteran: No Fee.
 
Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel (949) 923-2200 - Map FEE AREA
Located at Aliso Creek Rd & Alicia Parkway in Laguna Niguel.  (Click here for a map of its location.)
 
Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Brea (714) 973-3160 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 4442 Carbon Canyon Road in Brea.   (Click here for a map of its location
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Caspers Wilderness Park, San Juan Capistrano (949) 923-2210 - Map FEE AREA
Located at  33401 Ortega Hwy in San Juan Capistrano: 7.5 mi north of  I-5 freeway 
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Clark Regional Park, Buena Park (714) 973-3170 - Map FEE AREA 
Located at  8800 Rosecrans Blvd. in Buena Park.  (Click here for a map of its location.)
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Craig Regional Park, Fullerton  (714) 973-3180 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 3300 State College Blvd. in Fullerton. 
 
Irvine Regional Park, Orange (714) 973-6835 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 1 Irvine Park Rd in Orange: at the end of Jamboree, on the NE side of Santiago Canyon Rd.
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Laguna Coast Wilderness Park (949) 923-2235 - Map  FEE  AREA
Located at 18751 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach: off Laguna Canyon Road,  just past the El Toro intersection as you head toward Laguna Beach. 
 
Laguna Niguel Regional Park, Laguna Niguel  (949) 923-2240 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 28241 La Paz Road in Laguna Niguel
 
Mason Regional Park, Irvine  (949) 923-2220 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 18712 University Drive, between Culver & Harvard, in Irvine.
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Mile Square Regional Park, Fountain Valley (714) 973-6600 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 16801 Euclid Ave., in Fountain Valley
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O'Neill Regional Park  (949) 923-2260 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road in Trabuco Canyon
 
Peters Canyon Regional Park (714) 973-6611 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 8548 E. Canyon View Avenue in Orange (This is a Wilderness Park.)
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Riley Wilderness Park, Coto de Caza (949) 923-2265 - Map FEE AREA
Located  at 30952 Oso Parkway in Coto de Caza. 
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Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange (714) 973-6620 - Map FEE AREA
Located  at 2145 N. Windes Dr in Orange;  Windes Dr. intersects with Santiago Canyon Road.
 
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park (949) 923-2245 -Map FEE AREA
Located  at Potola Parkway and Market in Trabuco Canyon 
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Yorba Regional Park, Yorba Linda (714) 973-6615 - Map FEE AREA
Located at 7600 East La Palma Avenue in Anaheim. 
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updated 7/3/16

Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447 • Irvine, CA 92616 • 949-261-7963

http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org