Southern Humboldt Community Park (SHCP) is perhaps the best birding location between Bear River Ridge to the north and Usal Beach Campground to the south, with at least 130 species recorded as of April 2, 2015. Its mix of grassland, oak and redwood forests, river, and farmland contributes to this impressive diversity as does its long history of guided bird walks. The months of April to June exhibit the highest bird diversity. The park’s avifaunal composition is characteristic of the lower elevations of inland Humboldt. SHCP is best known among birders as the site of a small breeding population of the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), a grassland species that is local and uncommon in northwest California and a Species of Concern in California.

The 25 most-frequently-reported species are listed below. All are found year-round unless otherwise noted.

Photographs by Leslie Scopes Anderson

A more-or-less complete list of the park’s birds can be found here.

Text by Ken Burton of www.norcalnature.com


Birdwalks at the Community Park are offered by the Park and the Redwood Region Audubon Society the third Saturday morning of each month, weather permitting. The birdwalks start at 8:30 AM in the summer and 9:30 AM in the winter. No dogs please.

A printed checklist is available of the 153 bird species that have been identified at the park. Species sighted at the park include: American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Cooper’s Hawk, White-throated Swift, Grasshopper Sparrow, Lazuli Bunting, Merlin, Northern Harrier, Western Bluebird, Belted Kingfisher, Western Meadowlark, Wood Duck, and White-tailed Kite, among many others.

For current birdwalk dates and times, or for additional information about birdwalks and birdlife at the Community Park, visit the Redwood Region Audubon Society calendar at www.rras.org.