American Avocets


The diverse habitats of Midpen preserves support a variety of breeding birds. Some are local residents such as the Ridgeway's rail and California Thrasher. Other birds such as the Barn Swallow and Lazuli Bunting migrate regularly to the preserves to breed. Still others, like the Red Crossbill and Lawrence Goldfinch, have variable migratory patterns and breed in the preserves on certain years.

Examples of Preserve Habitats and the Birds You Might See There

(This information is adapted from the Audubon Society's San Mateo County Breeding Bird Atlas):

Salt Marsh - Plants in this habitat are adapted to high salinity and tidal action.
You Might Find: Clapper Rail, American Avocet, Marsh Wren, Savannah Sparrow.

Fresh Water Marsh - Mostly found along the edges of lakes and reservoirs.
You Might Find: Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Red-winged Black Bird.

Coastal Scrub - Characterized by woody shrubs growing densely up to six feet in height where there is some influence of coastal fog.
You Might Find: Bewick’s Wren, Wrentit, Bushtit, White-crowned Sparrow.

Chaparral Soil - Usually sandy or rocky, with dense shrub cover, often spiny.
You Might Find: Western Scrub-Jay, California Thrasher, Spotted Towhee.

Grassland Lands - Covered mainly in grasses of varying species.
You Might Find: House Finch, Savannah Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Burrowing Owl.

Woodland Savannah - A mix of open and dense groves of trees with adjacent brush.
You Might Find: Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, Lesser Goldfinch.

Mixed Evergreen Forest - Tall trees growing in dense stands.
You Might Find: Hairy Woodpecker, Purple Finch, Wood-Pewee.

Coniferous Forest - Dense stands of trees made up of various conifers.
You Might Find: Steller’s Jay, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Wilson’s Warbler.

Watch our Birding Year-Round video, created by Midpen volunteers.

Sign up for our newsletter to find out what’s happening in your open space!