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Birds on the Kern River Preserve


Mammals    Birds     Reptiles     Amphibians      Fish    Insects   Spiders     Dragonflies     Grasshoppers     Butterflies     Crayfish

NOTE: There is no collecting, fishing, or hunting on the preserve. If you see any animal or plant on the preserve, please take only pictures and memories. Do not disturb nesting birds. Do not go off trail.


Beginning Bird Identification

Bird Feeding Instructions

Feeding Hummingbirds


Kern River Valley Birds Checklist

Kern Valley Spring Nature Festival Birds

Audubon Kern River Preserve Winter Birding Guide

Audubon Kern River Preserve Spring Bird Arrival Guide

Audubon Kern River Preserve Summer Birding Guide

Audubon Kern River Preserve Fall Birding Guide


Canebrake Ecological Reserve

Birding on the Kern River Preserve and South Fork Kern River

KRV Hummingbird Finding Guide

Visitor and Travel Information Page


Summer Tanagers on the Kern River

Tricolored Blackbird - May 2008

White-crowned Sparrows in the Kern River Valley and beyond


Bird Banding on the Kern River Preserve and South Fork Kern River

Kern River Valley Turkey Vulture Community Watch


America's birdiest inland county 2010

Kern County 2008, America's birdiest inland county!

Kern County, America's birdiest inland county in 2007

Kern River Valley Christmas Bird Count History

Schedule of KRV Christmas Bird Counts

The South Fork Kern River Valley was one of the first areas in the U.S. to be designated a Globally Important Bird Area (IBA). The total number of birds recorded in the South Fork stands at 339 and on Audubon's Kern River Preserve 261 birds (108 nesting) have been documented. Because of the area’s unique geography and botanical resources it is the north-westernmost breeding location for many southwestern desert specialty birds.

With loss of the riparian forest throughout the Great Central Valley, the South Fork Valley is one of the last strongholds for the state endangered, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo in California.

The Kern Red-winged Blackbird is an endemic race found only in the Kern River Valley. This species differs from populations of Central Valley bi-colored Red-winged Blackbirds by the presence of both yellow and red on its wing epaulets. Geoff Keller, the avian audiographer of Cornell’s Bird Songs of California, declared the song to be truly unique among all of the Red-winged Blackbirds he had recorded across the state.

A large population of what Bob Barnes refers to as the “flying neon tomato”, Summer Tanager, breeds throughout the South Fork Forest. The federally endangered, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, tenaciously hangs on to this last bit of habitat in its north-westernmost breeding grounds.

The area’s bird community is exceptionally diverse with 110 species nesting on the Kern River Preserve and over 140 species breeding in the South Fork Valley as a whole. The mid-summer rapid assessment bird count has documented over 300 Yellow Warblers and hundreds of Song Sparrows. It is assumed due to the riparian habitat and proximity of agricultural fields, that Tri-colored Blackbirds and other icterids remain quite successful here. The open habitats of uplands, grasslands and seasonal wetlands support wintering Ferruginous Hawks, summering Grasshopper Sparrows, and year round populations of Osprey, White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, and Wilson’s Snipe.

In spring the South Fork Kern River Valley has some of the highest numbers of migrating birds in the entire southern Sierra Nevada. Beginning in late April and ending near the end of May each year thousands of individual birds fly over and through the forest. The fall migration of 30,000 southbound Turkey Vultures is the highlight of the season during September and October.

Research at the Kern River Preserve has been ongoing since the 1980s and has resulted in numerous publications on the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, the Summer Tanager, hummingbirds and Turkey Vulture migration. Much research continues to be coordinated by the Southern Sierra Research Station but recently several universities have begun extensive studies of a variety of biological resources at the Kern River Preserve.


About Audubon Kern River Preserve

The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.

Audubon Kern River Preserve supporters provide financial and volunteer support for Preserve outreach, education, wildlife habitat protection & stewardship.

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Kern River Preserve • P.O. Box 1662 • 18747 Hwy. 178 • Weldon, CA 93283 • E-mail
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This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.