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General Inquiries and Collection Information
Allison J. Shultz, PhD
Assistant Curator, Ornithology
Kimball L. Garrett
Our mailing address:
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90007 USA
These special weekend events are your chance to meet members of our curatorial team, ask your own questions, and get a first-hand, up-close look at many amazing curiosities of our collections.
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On this page you will find further information about birds inside and outside the Museum. Revisit us often as we continue to add material about ornithology, local birds, and resources from our collections.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has made Exposition Park its home since 1913. The Museum has changed over the decades, and so has the surrounding landscape. Originally an alluvial plain with nearby seasonal river channels, this part of Los Angeles later became agricultural, then saw low density urban and industrial development. In recent decades Exposition Park has been surrounded by miles of residential and commercial areas with quiet tree-lined streets and busy boulevards. The open spaces in the park and the park-like settings of portions of the adjacent campus of the University of Southern California have proven attractive to birds. Ornithology Collections Manager Kimball Garrett and others have kept track of bird sightings in the Exposition Park area since the early 1980s, and publications, collections, and field notes of various observers provide us with some information on the area's avifauna in earlier years.
See a PDF version of the
Complete List of the Birds of Exposition Park
The most familiar and commonly-seen birds of Exposition Park area are:
Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Cooper's Hawk, Accipiter cooperii
Western Gull, Larus occidentalis
California Gull, Larus californicus
Rock Pigeon, Columba livia
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet, Brotogeris chiriri
White-throated Swift, Aeronautes saxatalis
Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna
Allen's Hummingbird, Selasphorus sasin
Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
Common Raven, Corvus corax
Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Stelgidopteryx serripennis
Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
American Robin, Turdus migratorius
Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dendroica coronata
Brewer's Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus
House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
The complete list includes 170 species, including 160 native species and 10 non-native species; many of these species have occurred only one or a few times as scarce migrants.
With 523 bird species recorded within its boundaries and offshore waters, Los Angeles County is among the most ornithologically diverse regions in North America. Currently we are roughly tied with San Diego County, California for the honor of the being the U.S. county with the most bird species. For several consecutive years, L.A. County has won the "America's Birdiest County" competition in which teams of birders scour a county in late April or early May to see how many bird species they can find in a 72-hour period.
Researchers at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have taken the lead in studying the populations of various species of parrots and parakeets in California since the early 1990s. All of the 10 or more established parrot species in California were originally brought here for the pet bird trade. Naturalized populations (some numbering hundreds or even thousands of individuals) now thrive in urban and suburban landscapes, taking advantage of a variety of exotic trees and shrubs that provide fruit, seed, and nectar resources throughout the year.
More information about wild parrots in California, including identification guides, summaries of our research, and an online submission form for sightings, may be found at the California Parrot Project.