California Condors One of Many Endangered Birds in the Golden State

Posted by Christy Caplan
California Condor

Many beautiful birds call the Golden State their home.

The species lists below include all of the birds in California broken down by protected status.

Thanks to information from the Biologists Handbookwe've included 40 state-endangered birds, state-threatened birds, fully protected birds, and other species of special concern.

State-endangered birds

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Got very lucky with this shot of a California Condor! This critically endangered bird can have a wingspan up to 9.8 ft (the largest in North America) and has a lifespan that can reach up to 60 years (making it one of the longest-living birds in the world). • In 1987, there were only 27 California Condors left in the wild. Thanks to the work of conservationists, that number has grown to 337. Each condor is retrofitted with GPS & Satellite telemetry units along with an identification number. Every hour, the units upload movement data to a satellite network, allowing scientists to record information that is critical to the conservation of this flagship endangered species. • #bird #birdsofinstagram #instabirds #instabird #bird_lovers #birdofinstagram #birds #condor #californiacondor #endangeredspecies #arizona #biodiversity #ornithology #birdphoto #conservation #conservationbiology #wildlifeconservation #wildlifephotography #gps #satellite #telemetry #nationalparks #grandcanyon #grandcanyonwildlife #grandcanyonnationalpark #brightangel #nationalparkaz

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  1. California condor (Gymnogyps californianus)
  2. Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
  3. California Ridgway's rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus)
  4. Light-footed Ridgway's rail (Rallus longirostris levipes)
  5. California least tern (Sternula antillarum browni)
  6. Western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis)
  7. Elf owl (Micrathene whitneyi)
  8. Great gray owl (Strix nebulosa)
  9. Gila woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis)
  10. Gilded flicker (Colaptes chrysoides)
  11. Willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)
  12. Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)
  13. Arizona Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii arizonae)
  14. Least Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus)
  15. Inyo California towhee (Melozone crissalis eremophilus)
  16. Belding's savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi)

State-threatened birds

  1. Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
  2. California black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus)
  3. Yuma Ridgway's rail (Rallus longirostris yumanensis) 
  4. Greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida)
  5. Scripps's murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi)
  6. Guadalupe murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus)
  7. Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)
  8. Bank swallow (Riparia riparia)

Fully protected birds

  1. California brown pelican
  2. Trumpeter swan
  3. Golden eagle
  4. Bald eagle
  5. White-tailed kite
  6. American peregrine falcon
  7. California black rail
  8. California Ridgway's rail
  9. Light-footed Ridgway's rail
  10. Yuma Ridgway's rail
  11. Greater sandhill crane
  12. California least tern

Other Notable Birds of California

Ducks, Geese, and Swans

  • Tule greater white-fronted goose - wintering
  • Redhead - nesting
  • Brant - wintering and staging

Partridge and Quail (Odontophoridae)

  • Catalina California quail


  • Common loon (Gavia immer) - nesting


  • Short-tailed albatross

Storm Petrels

  • Fork-tailed storm-petrel - nesting colony
  • Ashy storm-petrel - nesting colony
  • Black storm-petrel - nesting colony


  • American white pelican - nesting colony

Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns

  • Least bittern - nesting


  • Wood stork

Hawks, Kites, Harriers, and Eagles

  • Northern goshawk - nesting
  • Northern harrier - nesting

Rails, Coots, and Gallinules

  • Yellow rail


  • Lesser sandhill crane - wintering

Plovers and Relatives

  • Western snowy plover - nesting
  • Mountain plover - wintering

Gulls and Terns

  • Black tern - nesting colony
  • Gull-billed Tern - nesting colony
  • Black skimmer - nesting colony

Auklets, Puffins, and Relatives

  • Tufted puffin - nesting colony
  • Cassin's auklet - nesting colony


  • Short-eared owl - nesting
  • Long-eared owl - nesting
  • Burrowing owl - burrow sites and some wintering sites
  • California spotted owl

Tyrant Flycatchers

  • Olive-sided flycatcher - nesting
  • Vermillion flycatcher - nesting


  • Loggerhead shrike - nesting
  • Island loggerhead shrike
  • San Clemente loggerhead shrike


  • Catalina Hutton's vireo
  • Gray vireo - nesting


  • Purple martin - nesting


  • Coastal cactus wren
  • Clark's marsh wren
  • San Clemente Bewick's wren


  • Coastal California gnatcatcher

Mockingbirds and Thrashers

  • Bendire's thrasher
  • Crissal thrasher
  • Le Conte's thrasher


  • Saltmarsh common yellowthroat
  • Yellow-breasted chat - nesting
  • Lucy's warbler - nesting
  • Yellow warbler - nesting
  • Sonoran yellow warbler - nesting

Sparrows, Buntings, Warblers, and Relatives

  • Santa Cruz Island rufous-crowned sparrow
  • Grasshopper sparrow - nesting
  • San Clemente sage sparrow
  • Song sparrow
  • Channel Island song sparrow
  • Suisun song sparrow
  • Alameda song sparrow
  • San Pable song sparrow
  • Bryant's savannah sparrow
  • Large-billed savannah sparrow - wintering
  • San Clemente spotted towhee
  • Summer tanager - nesting
  • Oregon vesper sparrow - wintering

Blackbirds (Icteridae)

  • Kern red-winged blackbird
  • Tricolored blackbird - SC, SSC, nesting colony
  • Yellow-headed blackbird - nesting

 Other beautiful birds?

The Scrub-Jay, Chickadee, Mourning Dove, Black Phoebe, Nuthatch, Acorn, Hummingbirds, Grebe, Cooper's Hawk, Starlings, Grosbeak, Oriole, Alien's Hummingbird, California Scrub-Jay, American Goldfinch, Turkey Vulture, Cedar Waxing, American Crow, Shorebirds, Cliff Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, House Finch, Bushtit, Brewer's Blackbird, Acorn Woodpecker, Allen's Hummingbird, Lesser Goldfinch, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Curlew, Thrush, and Oak Titmouse.

Have you ever lived with a parrot? Please leave us a comment below!

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California Condors One of Many Endangered Birds in the Golden State