Animals

The 7 Best Places and Times to See Bald Eagles in California

Seeing bald eagles in California is a delightful sight. There are several of locations where you may go bird watching in the hopes of seeing these symbols of freedom in the wild. The top seven locations and times to watch bald eagles are listed below.

Are Bald Eagles Common in California?

Despite not being very prevalent, California is home to roughly 400 breeding pairs and 1,000 bald eagles that migrate there for the winter. Alaska is the state with the highest number of bald eagles, approximately 30,000. Hawaii is the only state in the union without a natural population of bald eagles.

When in California Is the Best Time to See Bald Eagles?

The winter months of December through March are the greatest times to watch bald eagles in California, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. These enormous, majestic birds are found around rivers, wetlands, lakes, and reservoirs.

The 7 Best Places To See Bald Eagles in California

Bald eagles can be seen in many locations around California, however some are better than others. Of course, there’s always a chance to witness a bald eagle during its migration in the areas of the state that are close to lakes. Discover the top seven locations in California to view bald eagles by reading on.

1. Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located in the southern portion of San Francisco Bay, is ranked first on our list. This refuge has 30,000 acres of surface area. It was founded in 1974, more than 50 years ago. While bald eagles are frequently spotted here, white pelicans, white-tailed kites, and salt marsh harvest mice are among the other creatures that call this place home. The refuge is home to more than 280 different bird species.

2. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, close to Folsom, California, is another great place to go bald eagle bird watching. Just 25 miles east of Sacramento lies this recreation area. It encircles the enormous Folsom Lake, a great location to see raptors such as golden or bald eagles. Red-tailed hawks, coyotes, wrens, blackbirds, mountain lions, black-tailed deer, and kingfishers can also be seen in the vicinity of this 11,450-acre lake.

3. Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located in northern California close to the Oregon border, comes in third place on our list. From sunrise to dusk, seven days a week, this well-known wildlife preserve is open. Created in 1928, the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge is spread across 39,116 acres of land. When bird watching, it is ideal to have binoculars with you. Take a good look at the trees to find any nests close to the river. The ideal times of day to see bald eagles are while they are hunting in the early morning and late at night.

4. San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area

The grassy hills of the western San Joaquin Valley are home to the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area, which is also in California. Daily hours for this fantastic recreation area are 6 a.m. till sunset. Visitors can camp, ride bikes, fish, hike in peace, and search for wildlife while they’re here.

With a rich history, the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area is a significant recreational reservoir. The San Luis Reservoir wasn’t built until 1962, despite the fact that the region’s first water works were built in 1871.

5. Millerton Lake State Recreation Area

A popular location to observe bald eagles is Madera County’s Millerton Lake State Recreation Area. There are more than 40 miles of shoreline in this fantastic recreation area. Hikers, anglers, and boaters can enjoy the lake’s swimming holes and nature walks. The Friant Dam, which spans the San Joaquin River, was the first structure to create the lake in 1944. Your best chance of seeing bald eagles is to take a special winter boat excursion in the park.

6. Cachuma Lake Recreation Area

The Cachuma Lake Recreation Area in Santa Barbara County, California, is the next location on our list. The focal point of this leisure area is Cachuma Lake, which is significant to numerous bird species, including golden and bald eagles. Cachuma Lake is located in the Los Padres National Forest and has a surface area of 3,100 acres. It was constructed on the Santa Ynez River in 1953.

7. Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake in Shasta County is last but certainly not least. It’s also known as Lake Shasta at times. The Sacramento River was impoundment by Shasta Dam, resulting in the creation of this lake. It has a maximum depth of 517 feet and is approximately 35 kilometers long. Shasta Lake’s shoreline stretches 365 kilometers.

Overview of the Seven Best Places to See Bald Eagles in California

Places to See Bald Eagles County/City
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Southern part of San Francisco Bay
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area Folsom, California
Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge Tulelake, California
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area Merced County, California
Millerton Lake State Recreation Area Fresno and Madera Counties
Cachuma Lake Recreation Area Santa Barbara County, California
Shasta Lake Shasta County, California